Christ and Pop Culture

Merry Christmas from Seeing & Believing! Our last episode before Christmas starts off with a bang as we take a look at the much-buzzed-about Roma, Netflix's latest shot at Oscar gold. Does Alfonso Cuaron's highly personal film about a domestic worker in 1970s Mexico deserve the hype it's been getting, or will the high expectations be dashed by cold reality? We also offer a little something for the superhero fans in our audience with our review of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an animated adventure starring everyone's favorite webslinger, multiplied by seven. Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller waved a magic wand over The Lego Movie- can they repeat the feat with a Marvel property?

Music interlude by Erik Margolin, "Carol of the Bells." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson wrap up their holiday mini-series, Lessons & Carols. The first conversation covered the lessons we’ve learned about Christmas meeting the soul’s longing for connection and love. And the second episode turned to the ways we attempt to buy our Christmas joy (for others and even for ourselves). Here in the finale, Erin and Hannah dissect the tension between the peace we sing about and internal chaos we so often experience during Christmas. Can we learn to appreciate the message of Silent Night even when our reality is no match? Is a Silent Night even realistic? Is it possible we have unreasonable expectations for the season that magnify our need for the Prince of Peace? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_155.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

Period pieces and Oscar chances come to the fore in this episode of Seeing & Believing. First up is The Favourite, a darkly funny look at courtly backstabbing, political intrigue, and the nature of power in the court of England's Queen Anne. The guys then move closer to home with their review of Green Book, Peter Farrelly's based-on-a-true-story film about racial tensions and friendship when a white bouncer agrees to be the driver and bodyguard for a black concert pianist in the Jim Crow-era Deep South.

Music interlude by Floral Dreamasaurs, "The Man Inside." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:57am EDT

What do you want for Christmas? Children are ready for that question, quick to list all the toys and treasures their little hearts desire. We’ve learned from an early age to make our lists and send our requests to Santa, all in the hope that come Christmas morning, everything we want will be underneath the tree. Our culture has tied Christmas fulfillment to the amassing of stuff.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their holiday mini-series, Lessons & Carols. The first conversationcovered the lessons we’ve learned about the way Christmas can meet the soul’s longing for connection and love. And in this installment, the conversation turns to the ways we attempt to buy our Christmas joy for others and even for ourselves. Maybe you attempt to hold consumerism off by implementing the three-gift or four-gift rule. Or maybe you attempt to redeem your participation in the season by donating your budgeted money for each person to a charity helping those much less fortunate. Try as we may, the commercialization of Christmas is here and the fault is ours to bear. How do the Christmas traditions and carols we practice each year contribute to this skewed perspective? Is there any way to uncouple our real need for joy from the false promise that it will be waiting for us under the tree on Christmas morning? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_154.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

Both the internet and audience's hearts get broken with the films in this week's episode. Wade and Kevin check out Disney's sequel to Wreck-It Ralphto see if its satire of internet culture holds up, then offer their review of Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's Palme d'Or-winning Shoplifters.

Music interlude by Derek Joel, "Grateful." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm EDT

Christmas blues are nothing new. And in today’s therapeutic and authentic age, we’re more willing to admit to and discuss how the holidays are something anything but merry and bright. For some of us, it’s grief. For others, it’s troubles and trials. But for all us, Christmas is when our longings are piqued and our hearts yearn for something more. Movies tell us Christmas is the perfect time to find our soul mate. Advertisements tell us Christmas is the perfect time to get the latest and greatest goods. Society tells us Christmas is the perfect time to be present to everyone in every circle we inhabit. But is this really what Christmas is all about?

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off a holiday mini series called Lessons & Carols. This first conversation covers the lessons we’ve learned about the way Christmas can meet the soul’s longing for connection and love. From Hallmark Christmas specials to receiving the perfect gift from that perfect someone, we’ve all taken in ideals that lead our hearts to unavoidable disappointment. What we see in romance stories and jewelry commercials tells us we’re missing out. Is it possible we have unreasonable expectations on relationships that exacerbate our Christmas blues? How can we find joy in the holidays when our relationships are draining us? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT

It's an all-sequel edition of the show this week, as the guys take on two Thanksgiving-weekend releases that continue relatively new series. First up is the hotly anticipated Creed 2, which finds Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed squaring off against the son of the villainous Ivan Drago from the original Rocky franchise. Then Wade and Kevin take a look at the newest installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, J.K. Rowling's latest addition to the world of Harry Potter. What happens when the wizard Newt Scamander is drawn further into the international intrigue surrounding the schemes of evil wizard Grindelwald? And does this latest film match the magic of Rowling's best work?

Music interlude by Rue Royale, "Deck the Halls." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

Seeing & Believing celebrates Thanksgiving and Black Friday with a generous dose of grand larceny and psychopathic cowboys. The guys follow up last week's interview with director Steve McQueen with a review of McQueen's latest, Widows, starring Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, and a whole host of other stars. They also spend plenty of time with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a six-chapter anthology film from the Coen brothers, in their first partnership with Netflix. Enjoy!

Music interlude by Norden, "Bandage." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am EDT

In advance of next week's Thanksgiving feast, Seeing & Believing offers up an episode stuffed to overflowing with good stuff. First, Kevin sits down with director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) for a conversation about McQueen's newest film, the heist picture Widows. On top of that, the guys offer reviews of two films that have been making a splash lately: Paul Dano's directorial debut (and potential Oscar contender), Wildlife, a drama set in 1960s Montana; and the World War II monster flick Overlord, about supernatural Nazi experiments uncovered on the eve of the Normandy invasion.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_176.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:22am EDT

Our digital age allows us to handle a lot of life devoid of live, in-person conversation. Business can be handled remotely. Socializing can be done via social media. Shopping and meals can be ordered online. We simply don’t need to converse with each other face to face.

But for all the convenience we gain, what do we lose? In this episode of Persuasion,Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson wrap up their Talking about Talk series with a special LIVE recording at their Word+Craft Weekend at Leaf Institute in Greenville, South Carolina. Marking only the second time the hosts have been together in person, their discussion covers the pros and cons of face-to-face conversation. Is it important to pursue others in live discussion, or will digital conversations suffice? Do our digital interactions help or hinder our in-person relationships? Can we really know others well without knowing their body language or voice inflections? Is it possible for Erin and Hannah to talk to each other without the usual digital divide?!

Direct download: Persuasion_152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am EDT

Christmas came early this year for both cinephiles and blockbuster audiences! It's not every year that we get a new Orson Welles film, but Netflix brought us one this year in the form of the long-dormant The Other Side of the Wind. Wade and Kevin bring fellow critic Ryan Holt on the show to discuss whether this late addition to Welles's filmography is a worthwhile one. Then the guys turn their attention to Disney's latest attempt at cinematic magic, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. How well does this film adaptation of the story behind the much-beloved ballet succeed at crafting a brand-new adventure?

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EDT

Much of the church talk happening today is seen as negative by the watching world. Whether intentional or not, when people of faith talk about current issues, fear and anger are heard and observed. This is off-putting (to say the least) for those who do not know Jesus. Why would anyone be drawn to a faith whose adherents use the same vitriol as those they are opposing? Something is amiss when Christians are more passionate about winning that day’s internet squabble than they are about reaching the world with the glorious gospel.

In this episode of Persuasion,Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series with guest C. Christopher Smith. Chris is founding editor of Englewood Review of Books,co-author of Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus,and author of Reading for the Common Goodand the forthcoming How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church. Many years of leading and helping Christians have good conversations about difficult topics makes Chris a welcome addition to this series. The conversation addresses the ways our current church talk is devoid of power because it isn’t viewed as connecting the interdependent parts of one body. How can Christians grow in their conversational skill to relate matters of faith with grace and in truth? Is there hope for a new era that takes pleasure in the art of conversation? What changes must we embrace to see the church take on the role of healer in our relationships and in our society?

Direct download: Persuasion_151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

Today’s digital age means greater exposure to tech talk: and we mean more than just computer lingo and technological vocabulary. Every corner of our lives has its own set of words and phrases that makes plenty of sense to those within the system but have no meaning for those on the outside. The way we talk to one another either builds community or prevents it. Those who know the proper words and terms to use within a particular subgroup have a measure of power—and that power needs to be applied rightly, for the good of others. Understanding how our language creates or tears down barriers to community is critical for Christians in today’s cultural climate. And Christians bear great responsibility to display humility and create spaces that welcome outsiders, not only to draw them closer to Jesus but also to be effective ambassadors of the gospel. We must be aware of the tech-based talk we employ in our conversational spheres.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series discussing the pros and cons of tech talk in our conversational bubbles. How does specific system-based language help people connect? How does insider language keep outsiders from participating? When is tech talk appropriate, and when do we need to adopt new words for a new era? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: What’s the most recent slang you had to Google?

Direct download: Persuasion_150_Tech_Talk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am EDT

The guys get into the Halloween spirit by reviewing the latest entry in one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time: David Gordon Green’s sequel/reboot of John Carpenter’s classic Halloween. Is this new movie a worthy successor to the Halloween crown? Wade and Kevin also take a look at the beguiling South Korean Oscar contender Burning, a dreamlike thriller that features The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun and is based on a Haruki Murakami story.

Music interlude by ID4 Rustle, “I Dream of Gini.” Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_174.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Young men exploring outer space and old men robbing banksóthese are the two most common varieties of male, at least in this week's show, as Wade and Kevin discuss the two newest movies from directors who have gotten a lot of love on the show before. First up is First Man, the Neil Armstrong biopic that takes a look at the nuts and boltsóliterallyóof space travel. The guys then consider another biopic: The Old Man and the Gun, which may be Robert Redford's last role as an actor and certainly is an interesting encapsulation of his distinctive screen presence.

Music interlude by Evan Schaeffer, "Smooth Terrain." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_173.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am EDT

Humor can be hard to find with all the heartache we face in the world today. As the weight of life presses down, our ability to kick back and laugh shrinks—to our detriment. Research shows that laughter is still good and needful medicine, strengthening the immune system, boosting your mood, diminishing pain, and protecting you from the damaging effects of stress. Rather than humor being a sign of ignoring life’s troubles, its pursuit is actually a way to combat the world’s troubles from the inside out.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series by inviting Ben Fort to the conversation. Ben has been writing, producing, and composing for theater and sketch comedy for more than a decade. As head of the Comedy Writing Program at The Four Day Weekend training center in Fort Worth, Texas, Ben nurtures and develops others in their creative comedy skills and projects. Erin and Hannah pick Ben’s brain about the role of humor, asking questions such as: What role does humor play in matters of faith? Is it possible to build up your funny bone? How has comedy changed in the #metoo era? Does humor work in mixed-gender company? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: Who is the funniest person you know IRL?

Direct download: Persuasion_149_Funny_Talk.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:44am EDT

The biggest movie on the planet right now seems to be Bradley Cooper's Lady Gaga-starring remake of A Star Is Born, and Wade and Kevin are on the case. Is the saga of a singer's rise to fame and fortune, accompanied by Gaga's powerful voice, enough to put the guys under its spell? The review is accompanied by some big news: Seeing & Believing is covering this year's Chicago International Film Festival, and Kevin has the details of the coverage to come!

Music interlude by BKMER, "Dawn." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

Think back to the most recent social event you attended—it’s likely you had to interact with people you didn’t know well or don’t see very often. Those situations require us to call upon our small talk skills—and for many, such situations produce a certain amount of anxiety and discomfort. Being a good conversationalist requires us to start talking about something—usually something light-hearted or devoid of potential strife. Small talk sticks to the outer edges of ideas, often consisting of commentary about the weather or local news or inquiries about one’s family.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series with a conversation about the social chit chat that causes many a heart to flutter. What is it about small talk that makes us so uncomfortable? Is small talk even necessary? What good do social pleasantries contribute to a larger conversation? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: Do you know someone who’s great at small talk?

Direct download: Persuasion_148_Small_Talk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EDT

Terrence Malick's masterpiece The Tree of Lifeis back in a big way these days, as the new Criterion Collection release includes a brand-new cut from the director himself! Wade and Kevin revisit the film to explore how the extended edition changes Malick's vision, for better or for worse. They then turn their attention to a film that in many ways is the polar opposite of The Tree of Life: Jeremy Saulnier's meditation on human savagery, the Netflix original film Hold the Dark.

This episode has been brought to you by Kyle Matthews and the rest of our faithful Seeing & Believing patrons!

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01am EDT

How would you describe your family’s table talk during your childhood? Was it lively or subdued? Was it friendly or feisty? Was it harsh or loving? Whatever it may have been, the conversational style of your family—both around the table and throughout the home—had a profound impact upon your approach to conversation today. Our families were the first to teach us vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax—the building blocks to relaying information. But our families also modeled conversation—how we exchange ideas with others. And those lessons have lasting power, drawing us to enter dialogue in ways that mirror what we were taught—and what we caught—as children.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series by sorting out the role our families play in shaping our conversational style. Home life teaches us crucial skills about relaying information, listening, negotiating, dealing with conflict, and being vulnerable. All of these are crucial conversational skills, which is why being an adept talker is about so much more than just stringing words together. It’s learning how to live life together for the good of all. Considering the formative impact our table talk has upon us, is it possible to learn new skills? Did our family’s communication style doom us to broken relationships—and therefore, a broken society? Listen in for dialogue on issues like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: What’s your family’s conversational quirk?

Direct download: Persuasion20147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12am EDT

With Wade out for the week, Kevin brings on two special guests to discuss this week's films. Steve Norton of Screenfish.net steps in to talk about Eli Roth's adaptation of the classic John Bellairs YA creepfest, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett(!). Next up is a review of the awards-season hopeful White Boy Rick, with Emmanuel Noisette of E-man's Movie Reviews on hand to examine whether the film's hopes are well-placed.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_170.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT

With all the talking in the world today, you might think it best to keep your own thoughts and words to yourself. Words abound on social platforms, from airwaves, in print. Even our own conversations are packed full. So many of us have grown weary of words and discourse. We wonder if contributing our opinion on the latest news squabble is needed. We wonder if society would be better served by our silence.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off a new approach to the show, one in which conversations can go deeper and be more robust. Persuasion will now use a series approach to episodes, grouping them together by topic to give more time and space for exploring issues at length. “Let’s Talk” is the first episode in the series Talking about Talk. Erin and Hannah present a compelling case for rigorously engaging the world with our thoughts and words, despite what seems to be an overabundance. Discussion covers the proliferation of words, the need for quality conversations in our circles, and the challenges we face in contributing value in a word-saturated culture. Because conversation is essential to healthy community, Erin and Hannah passionately argue for Christian to contribute sound and grace-filled words to the conversations we encounter in our homes, churches, workplaces, and communities. Listen in for dialogue on issues like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: Do you believe YOUR words matter?

Direct download: Persuasion_146.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Those rascally extraterrestrial hunters are at it again. Shane Black just released the latest entry in the Predator franchise, in which aliens hunt the most dangerous game, and the most dangerous game hunts the aliens right back. Wade and Kevin offer their thoughts on this September’s The Predator, then move on to consider the prestige-movie season that is now upon us. What films are most worth getting excited about, here toward the end of 2018? Listen to find out!

Music interlude by Wayne John Bradley, “Connected.” Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_169.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:41am EDT

On the eve of prestige-movie season beginning in earnest, Wade and Kevin dip into genre cinema to see what they find. First up is the John Cho-starring thriller Searching, about a father who engages in some heavy digital sleuthing when his daughter mysteriously goes missing. Then the guys take a look at Kin, a sci-fi adventure that pits a boy and his ex-con brother against a gang of vengeful hoodlums and a duo of otherworldly soldiers. Will the futuristic firearm that the boy found in an abandoned warehouse be just what's needed to stay one step ahead? Probably, but more interesting is the sibling dynamics as the two brothers are forced to confront the holes in their relationship and their own principles.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_168.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:31am EDT

Seeing & Believing kicks off September by sitting down with Corin Hardy, director of the new horror film The Nun. Kevin talks with the English filmmaker about telling stories about religious communities and the mysteries of the spiritual. Then Wade and Kevin return to a television series they've been quite enthusiastic about in the past, AMC's Better Call Saul. As the show enters the fourth season (and what appears to be a run up to a conclusion), the guys discuss whether the show holds up and how the show's moral vision is revealing itself in these latest episodes.

Music interlude by Poolside, "Which Way to Paradise." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_167.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

As summer draws to a close, Seeing & Believing offers a little something for everyone. For the auteurist, we've got a review of the latest Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman, which tells the true story of the first black detective in Colorado Springs and the 1979 sting operation he led against the Ku Klux Klan. If frothy escapism is more your thing, we take a look at the much-buzzed-about romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, based on Kevin Kwan's novel about an American economics professor who discovers her boyfriend is both the scion of a fabulously rich Singapore family and the most eligible bachelor in the country.

Music interlude by Gordon Victor, "Spell." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_166.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

This summer marked the ten-year anniversary of the release of a film that reshaped the way filmgoers thought of superheroes: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Wade and Kevin commemorate the occasion by revisiting that film with a review. Does it still hold up? The guys then keep the 2008 train rolling by offering their picks for the best movies of that year.

Music interlude by Nicolai Heidlas, “Roadtrip.” Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09pm EDT

You can learn a lot about a person by how regularly his or her phone battery dips into the single-digit red zone. Because in this day, a dead phone battery can leave you helplessly detached from all crucial life details: your map, your schedule, your work, your contacts, and more. A draining battery prompts fear and frustration, as well as a frantic hunt for a power outlet to remedy the situation.


In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson examine the way our mobile devices chain us to power outlets. Wherever we are—coffee shops, airports, public venues—a low battery can send us into survival mode, hunting for an open outlet. Sadly, many a hunter’s hopes have been dashed, when, upon spotting a free power outlet, find it is merely a sticker. Some sad soul is playing jokes upon the desperate, which prompts us to ask all sorts of questions about our relationship to devices and power. Is this stress about a draining battery necessary? Have we simply grown too dependent on (or addicted to) our devices? Are the people who place power outlet stickers truly evil?

Listen in, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_145.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT

If you’ve ventured out to your local office supply or big box store, you’ve seen a sort of glory that descends about this time every year. It’s found in the endless aisles of school supplies. This is where shoppers can find rainbows of gel pens and Post-It notes and notecards… reams of blank journals and notebooks… and countless styles of clips, magnets, pouches, and folders. It’s an endless realm of possibility. And, well, kids need them for school too.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson gush over school supplies and how their annual appearance marks the most wonderful time of year for many who are no longer students. What is it about back to school shopping that non-students find so appealing? Why do we buy more blank journals when we already have a stash we’ve never used? Is there a gene that predisposes certain humans to go giddy over office supplies? Listen in, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Episode 144 Resources & Links:

21 Euphoric Experiences For People Obsessed With Office SuppliesBuzzfeed

12 Very Necessary School Supplies for AdultsMarie Claire

25 Back-to-School Supplies for Adults Who Want to Feel Like a Kid AgainThe Muse

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

This Is How We KnollChrist and Pop Culture

For the Love of TargetChrist and Pop Culture

What Your 2017 Calendar Says About YouChrist and Pop Culture

Theme music by Maiden Name.

Direct download: Persuasion_144.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT

The guys have gentrification on the mind this week, as they review two films about unwelcome new arrivals in the neighborhood. The unwelcome residents are white hipsters in Carlos Lopez Estrada's Blindspotting, a drama about race and perspective starring Daveed Diggs of Hamiltonfame. In the sci-fi/thriller indie The Endless, the new neighbor is an otherworldly force revered by a backwoods cult. Will two brothers and erstwhile cult members get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding this entity? Find out on this week's episode!

Music interlude by Nicolai Heidlas, "Roadtrip." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_164.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 7:41am EDT

The stakes are high this week, with super-spies and threatened nuclear annihilation on one hand and the perils and anguish of middle school on the other. Wade and Kevin review the latest Mission: Impossible film (alternate title: See Tom Run) and the latest indie darling from studio A24, Eighth Grade. Thrills and chills abound!

Music interlude by Joako, "Singular Radio." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_163.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:10am EDT

Recent news articles say that although our social discourse may be loud, it is rarely effective in advancing understanding or reducing conflict. Unless you count the inner-turmoil we all have as a conversational thread spirals out of control.) For all our talking, there isn’t much listening going on, which means there’s even less true engagement with the serious issues of the day.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Alan Noble to the conversation to sort out this sad phenomenon. Noble is a professor as well as editor in chief/co-founder of Christ and Pop Culture. His first book, Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age, recently released with InterVarsity Press. The conversation addresses the common issues we all face in today’s hyper-connected, over-saturated world. Can we use online engagement for good? Is it possible to maintain a positive witness for Jesus in a secular society? How does the deluge of information make matters of importance more trivial? Listen in for dialogue on issues like these, continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: Who has been a disruptive witness to you?

Direct download: Persuasion_143.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 8:34am EDT

Both movies this week involve a measure of mayhem, but the two directors' personal approaches to their stories couldn't be more different. First up is Antoine Fuqua's sequel The Equalizer 2, in which Denzel Washington reprises his role as an efficient assassin who just wants to make the world better through violence. Second is Hirokazu Kore-eda's The Third Murder, at last making its stateside appearance. Kore-eda's view of his film's titular murder tends more toward the meditative and ambiguous. Does this departure for the Japanese auteur pay off?

Music interlude by Wayne John Bradley, "Rain." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_162.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 8:01am EDT

Wade and Kevin get lost in the woods for their first film this week: Leave No Trace, Debra Granik's long-awaited follow-up to Winter's Bone. Is this story about a father raising his daughter off the grid in the Pacific Northwest a worthy successor? Then things take a turn for the weird as the guys jump into Boots Riley satire of capitalism and racism run amok, Sorry to Bother You.

Music interlude by tokyolite, "Cycle." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_161.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 8:19am EDT

The guys review a very big movie about a very tiny pair of heroes this week with the Marvel offering for July, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Does the first MCU movie post-Infinity War do enough differently to keep it from feeling like business as usual? Also on the docket is another unusual story: a documentary about a set of triplets, separated at birth, who come to find one another later in life. Hijinks may or may not ensue.

Music interlude by YNCK, "The World Is Yours." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_160.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 8:43pm EDT

Fifteen years ago, Pixar introduced us to The Incredibles—a family just like any other… except they also had superpowers. The 2004 animated film made this super-family relatable, with sibling squabbles, work frustrations, and miscommunication. And this year, the long-awaited sequel gave us another look inside this relatively normal family with abnormal skills.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson chat about some of the key storylines from the two films. The conversation is practically spoiler-free, focusing more so on the way this story affirms and values the unique role of the individual while inspiring the individual to be part of the team. Listen in, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_142.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT

The release of Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed 2015 thriller about the U.S.-Mexico drug war, has the guys thinking about the gateway drugs that got them into movies in the first place. They pair their review of Stefano Sollima's sequel with a discussion about the films, people, and things that drew them into cinephilia. Some of the answers might not surprise you; some might. Tune in to find out!

Music interlude by Sunshine & Irony, "Rain on Seneca Rock." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_159.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:51pm EDT

Last week the news outlets were all abuzz with the announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court. Speculation now abounds: who will be nominated for this prestigious appointment? The potential names are circulating and commentary is mounting about each potential nominee. One who hasn’t been considered yet is our very own Hannah Anderson, who would like nothing more than to don a black robe and give opinions for a living.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss dream jobs that, like being appointed to the Supreme Court, have zero requirements. For Hannah, it’s being a justice; for Erin, it’s being a food critic. These hopes and dreams speak of how we are wired and the joys we find in exercising our gifts to make the world a better place, whether that’s by interpreting the law or praising good food. Listen in, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

More to Read from Persuasion Episode 141:

How Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Undo Kennedy’s LegacyThe New Yorker

Qualifications To Become A Supreme Court JusticeThe Law Dictionary

Award-winning food critic Jay Rayner sends this letter to everyone who asks how to get his jobBusiness Insider

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 126: Lottery Dreams & Nightmares

Persuasion 123: Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, and Those Who Love Them with Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

Persuasion 97: Home Work and Productivity

Theme music by Maiden Name.

Direct download: Persuasion_141.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

Remember 1993? It was a simpler time, when cloned dinosaurs were still a novelty and Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park ruled the box office. In the present day, J.A. Bayona throws his hat into the dinos-eating-people ring with Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom. Wade and Kevin decide to investigate whether it's a worthy successor to its ancestors. Then they decide to spend some time with some smooth criminals in the star-studded Ocean's 8, in which Sandra Bullock leads a squad of thieves in - what else? - a daring heist.

Music interlude by Bandage, "Norden."

Used under Creative Commons license 3.0. Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_158.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 8:57am EDT

Remember 1993? It was a simpler time, when cloned dinosaurs were still a novelty and Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park ruled the box office. In the present day, J.A. Bayona throws his hat into the dinos-eating-people ring with Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom. Wade and Kevin decide to investigate whether it's a worthy successor to its ancestors. Then they decide to spend some time with some smooth criminals in the star-studded Ocean's 8, in which Sandra Bullock leads a squad of thieves in - what else? - a daring heist.

Music interlude by Bandage, "Norden."

Used under Creative Commons license 3.0. Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_158.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 8:56am EDT

Unless you’ve shut off the news and all social media this past month, you are aware of our president’s policy that has separated children from parents as families cross our southern border. Regardless of your stance on the morality and legality of the practice, one thing is for certain: the blame game has taken over our discourse. Those who support the president’s policy blame previous administrations for the law that forces the trauma upon these immigrants, and they feel sorry for the way President Trump is being vilified. Those who don’t support the policy blame those who voted for President Trump, and they are outraged by the human rights violations. All this blaming, however, is distracting us from the main concern: the children who have been separated from their parents and the parents who are frantic to be reunited with them.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the way our public discourse has become about winning and sides rather than solving a crisis that is traumatizing real families and real children. Is it possible for us to set politics aside? Is it possible to embrace empathy for families that see this dangerous way as the only option open to them? Is it possible to solve the humanitarian crisis first and fix blame later? All these questions and more are covered. Listen in, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: 140_Persuasion_140_The_Blame_Game_in_Separating_Families.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 6:54pm EDT

The guys tackle two family-friendly flicks on this week's episode, as they review Brad Bird's fourteen-years-in-the-making sequel to Pixar's superhero smash The Incredibles. Was the wait worth it to see the Parrs back in tights? A fond return to Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood is on the itinerary as well. Everybody likes Mr. Rogers, but will everybody like the new documentary about him? Slip into your sneakers and pastel cardigan as Wade and Kevin discuss Won't You Be My Neighbor?

This episode is brought to you by Plot Devices, creators of the Storyclock Notebook! Use the Storyclock Notebook to turn your ideas into stories and make the writing process less terrible. Learn more at plotdevices.co and get 20% off your first order with the code BELIEVE20.

Music interlude by Jesse Warren, "Miles Above You." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seing_and_Believing_157.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

In response to a marketing ploy by IHOP, Twitter has decided: Pancakes and burgers do not go together. Last week the International House of Pancakes restaurant chain launched a new campaign to promote its burger menu. There were cryptic pre-launch ads showing the letter P in the logo flipped upside down to make it a B, all in an attempt to stir up interest in what the B might mean. All of Twitter seemed shocked to find the B was for burger, because, if you had not noticed, IHOP is about breakfast. Could this new campaign convince us to choose IHOP for any other reason? If we judge the effectiveness of the campaign based on the Twitter response, the answer would be a hearty no.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson assess this failed online communication to a previous conversation discuss the need for better online engagement. Too often we send out messages like IHOP did: without knowing our audience well enough to shape the message to be properly understood and embraced. There is much we can learn from IHOP’s recent marketing ploy. Listen in, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: 139_Persuasion_139_Why_Twitter_Cares_about_IHOP_s_IHOb_Campaign.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:40am EDT

Spiritual warfare can take many forms, as shown by the two films on this week's episode. First up is Wade and Kevin's most anticipated film of the summer, First Reformed, Paul Schrader's distinctive study of a Reformed minister fighting against despair as he tries to do the right thing. Then the guys detour into another genre with A24's latest foray into horror: Ari Aster's Hereditary, a harrowing look at a family beset by all sorts of darkness from within and without.

This episode is brought to you by Plot Devices, creators of the Storyclock Notebook! Use the Storyclock Notebook to turn your ideas into stories and make the writing process less terrible. Learn more at plotdevices.co and get 20% off your first order with the code BELIEVE20.

Music interlude by Rue Royale, "What Next Dear One." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0. Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_156.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT

What makes cults so boundlessly attractive to cult followers and so immediately unnerving for the rest of us? That's just one of the questions raised by Netflix's new documentary miniseries Wild Wild Country, which tries to get to the bottom of a 1980s dispute between a religious commune and the Oregon community next door. Also on deck this week is the Nick Offerman-starring Hearts Beat Loud, a feel-good indie movie about a dad trying to get the band back together with his college-bound daughter.

Music interlude by Fantasy Crisis, "College." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_155.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT

Free speech is a right that’s often claimed in emotionally charged conversations. We want to say whatever we want, because it’s a right granted to us by our county’s constitution. This is technically true: our country extends freedom for people to speak their minds. Although 100% agreement on what is said isn’t likely, we value the right to say what we think, ultimately trusting society to corral outlying ideas and shape them into a more refined understanding along the way. But what happens when the ideals of the majority begin to squeeze out fringe thoughts in ways that makes the society unhealthy?

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss several recent free speech kerfuffles covered in the news and online, including recent comments by Rosanne Barr and Samantha Bee and the NFL’s anthem ruling. All these happenings cause alarm and force us to consider if our value of free speech may presume too much in terms of society’s collective ability to handle its power and goodness. When are dissenting opinions and voices needed? Should abrasive or abusive words be shut down? Who decides what constitutes improper ideals in need of correction? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: 138_Persuasion_138_You_Cant_Say_That.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:02pm EDT

The guys take it down a notch after the blockbusters of last week. First they review American Animals, director Bart Layton's follow-up to The Impostor. Does Layton's trademark gamesmanship around the boundary between reality and recreation pay off in his film based on a true story centered around a heist by college students? Wade and Kevin then turn to a zombie apocalypse, Australia-style, with their review of the Martin Freeman-starring Netflix film Cargo.

Music interlude by John Milwee, "Del Rio." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

This episode is brought to you by Plot Devices: creators of the Storyclock Notebook. Use the Storyclock Notebook to turn your ideas into stories and make the writing process less terrible. Learn more at plotdevices.co and get 20% off your first order with the code BELIEVE20.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_154.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:28pm EDT

Twitter was all aflutter when a young woman posted a description of what she hoped her adult life might be 15 years from now: “LADIES imagine this, it’s 15 years from now—your son is up to bat, your husband is the hot 3rd base coach, your little girl is cheering on her big brother at the fence,&you are team mom, taking pics with a fancy camera,&keeping the scorebook THAT WOULD BE LIVING MY BEST LIFE.” The raucous wasn’t because she dared to dream but for the content. Her dream was assessed to be achingly mundane and shallow, with its hot husband, sports-playing son, cheering daughter, and photographer/scorekeeping mom. The snapshot cast is of the seemingly perfect family in their picture-perfect roles, exuding perfect happiness and harmony. The idealism was met with great scoffing and ridicule.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the components we embrace for living our best life and what those components say about our values, our dreams, and our vision of the good life. How do young people cultivate and nurture dreams about adult life without adults tearing it all down? How does online imagery influence and shape the hopes we have for living our best life? What does our scoffing at the dreams of others say about the cynicism of our age? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPCor in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. And be sure to answer our question of the day: What has most surprised you about adulthood?

More to Read from Persuasion Episode 137:

Those 'living my best life' fantasies sure took a weird turnTwitter

How the Mom Internet became a spotless, sponsored voidThe Washington Post

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 135: College Students Beware! Real Life Ahead

Persuasion 125: Post It Online or It Didn’t Happen

Persuasion 23: Angry on the Internet

Theme music by Maiden Name.

Direct download: Persausion_137.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:26am EDT

The show settles back into its regular rhythm just in time for the blockbusters of Memorial Day weekend. Scoundrels everywhere can rejoice as Wade and Kevin tackle the new Han Solo prequel from Disney, and amoral scoundrels everywhere can rejoice (possibly) over their review of the sequel to 2016's R-rated breakout smash about the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool 2.

This episode is brought to you by Plot Devices, creators of the Storyclock Notebook! Use the Storyclock Notebook to turn your ideas into stories and make the writing process less terrible. Learn more at plotdevices.co and get 20% off your first order with the code BELIEVE20.

Music interlude by Janx, "Castle in the Sky." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0. Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_153.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Are you Team Yanny or Team Laurel? That question took over the InterWebs last week as a grainy recording of a thrice-repeated word demanded us to choose sides according to what our ears heard. And true to our nature, whichever word we heard became the only real and rational response, pushing us to indignant frustration by those who heard the other. Whichever name you heard, this emotionally charged debate sounds a lot like other disagreements common today. Our ears hear one thing, and we cannot imagine why others hear something else. This dissonance is frustrating, and the emotions this stirs up causes a similar response to the Yanny/Laurel debate: We choose sides, dig in, and roll our proverbial eyes at those who think differently.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson summarize the Yanny/Laurel debate and the reactions it produced, and then they dissect how this frivolous debate mirrors the debates we have about issues of much greater import. Considering the scientific proof provided for why some ears hear Laurel and others hear Yanny, what other debates could be diffused if we understand the factors that tune a person’s ear—and heart—in ways that differ from our own? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. And what did you hear: Yanny or Laurel?

Direct download: Persuasion_136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am EDT

The guys are excited this week, and not just because their new Patreon is launching. It's James Stewart's 110th birthday this year, which gives Wade and Kevin the excuse to look back over his career and recount their top 5 Stewart moments. Listen, enjoy, and don't forget to share your own favorite performances from Stewart with us. And if you think of it, pop on over to the Seeing & Believing Patreon page and give it a look!

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_152.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

Graduation season is upon us, and if you have any graduates to celebrate you know what this means: It’s time to bestow all your sage advice to help these poor young souls from all the heartache you experienced after college.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson share their witticism of adult life. Each shares a bit of the shock that descended when “real life” kicked in post-college and how they transitioned from free spirited student to (somewhat) responsible adult. What advice would you give to college students who are just about to embark on this adventure we call adulthood? Listen in to see if it matches with a few of the things Erin and Hannah cover, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_135.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:03pm EDT

The weather is warm and the skies are clear, so Wade and Kevin break out the sunscreen and beach umbrellas for their summer-movie preview. Which blockbusters are they excited to break out the popcorn for, and which smaller films are they excited to be challenged by? Then they round things off with another preview of Seeing & Believing's upcoming Patreon campaign, as well as a short review of last year's contender for a documentary Oscar, Faces Places (now streaming on Netflix).

Music interlude by Wayne John Bradley, "Fresh Air." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_151.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

Each week Drew Dixon and Tyler Burns interview a CaPC writer about a recent article they have authored in order to go deeper into the subject matter. This week Derek Hiebert joins the duo to talk about his article, Ready Player Oneand the Escape From Reality. What are the practical considerations for immersive entertainment like VR? How do we set an example for the family when we are ostensibly cut off from them even though we are in the same room? Is there inherent value in escapism and entertainment to be had in mediums like VR, video games, and other digital media that exists to take you out of our reality and into another one? 

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_90.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 10:08am EDT

Alexa is Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant that makes your home a virtual microphone: You speak to Alexa, and it provides whatever help it is programmed to complete. By calling out to Alexa by name, you can control your lights, media system, and thermostat, as well as ask for information to every trivia(l) question that stumps you. For all the help this technology provides, it also works only by direct, simple commands. Such communication works for computer systems but does little for person-to-person interactions. And experts are concerned people will being to speak this way by default which is, in short, rather rude.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the ways that our modern communication styles are shaping the way we think and talk. Will Alexa give us practice using our commanding voice? Will it cause us to forget social graces? This is crucial, as the way we interact with others should be shaped by our status as fellow humans and image bearers, not as machines to do our bidding. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: How do you see tech changing the way you communicate with others?

Direct download: Persuasion_134.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 7:37am EDT

After the superhero spectacle of last week, Seeing & Believing shifts gears to review two smaller films: Lynne Ramsay's stylized hitman drama, You Were Never Really Here, and Chloe Zhao's exploration of rodeos and South Dakotan cowboys, The Rider. Plus, the guys make a big announcement about the future of Seeing & Believing. Don't miss it!

Music interlude by Rue Royale, "Snow on Snow (The Bleak Midwinter)." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_150.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 7:16am EDT

We like our celebrities gorgeous. Until we don’t. The beauty and style of British Duchess Catherine has been all the rage since she married Prince William in 2011. But earlier this month, the InterWebs were all astir because she was just a little bit too beautiful. And as the saying goes, haters gonna hate. The trouble began when Catherine and William emerged from the hospital a mere seven hours after she delivered baby number three. As usual, Catherine was radiant, and her near flawlessness sent people into a rage. How could someone who just gave birth look that great? Outrage ensued as assessments poured in about setting impossibly high standards for the peasants of the world. How could we possibly measure up? Won’t all post-delivery moms feel like failures for not being as beautiful as Catherine? (Let’s be honest: For that matter, wouldn’t most women feel like ugly ducklings next to the Duchess?)

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the ways that we demand perfection from our celebrities but then criticize them for fulfilling our demands. From Duchess Catherine to Carrie Underwood, recent web grousing has focused on women who are known and praised for their beauty, but then dare to be so. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_133.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:59pm EDT

10 years in the making have brought Wade and Kevin to have a spoiler free review of Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War. The duo have been less than kind to MCU movies in the past but will the $300 million budget, cross over extravaganza be the film that puts them firmly on the MCU bandwagon? 

After their spoiler free review, the second segment finds Wade and Kevin's ranking their Top 5 moments from the previous MCU films.

 

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_149.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 1:33am EDT

Drew Dixon is joined by Abby Perry and Kathryn Watson to discuss the conflicting ideas of "manhood" in evangelicalism from their co-authored article, Rearing Boys to Be Peacemakers in a World Bent on War. Written as a response to the Federalist's Jesse Kelly's article Why A Good Father Prepares His Sons For War, the trio talk about their own experiences raising boys, their collective experience in the western church on how manhood is represented, and what "masculinity" means to them regardless of social expectations. 

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_89.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

As if keeping up the latest in fashion isn’t overwhelming enough, now you need to consider if your fashion habits are ruining the planet. A conversation is stirring in the fashion industry about environmentally conscious fashion practices. In short, women in particular are assessing if their shopping habits are contributing to landfills, and if so, perhaps some change is in order. What are the costs of being fashion forward? What eco-friendly shopping habits would make a difference? How does consumerism affect us as neighbors and stewards of this planet?

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss all this and more after finding an article from The Guardian with research on the typical life cycle of women’s clothing—the average piece of clothing is worn just seven times between being discarded—and ways that we can change our habits for the good of all. Perhaps the mantra reduce-reuse-recycle, would be a helpful approach to our clothing needs. In changing our perspective toward fashion trends and style, we can instead become earth-friendly fashionistas that see beyond the outside to the deeper, eternal components of another person’s soul. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What percentage of your closet consists of secondhand items?

Direct download: Persuasion_132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:58am EDT

This week Wade and Kevin explore two movies that at first seem dissimilar. First up is writer/director John Karasinski's horror debut "A Quiet Place" where a Rockwellian family is forced to survive in total silence, living in a world filled with lethal monsters that can hunt only by sound. Then the duo turn to John Curran's dismantling of the Kennedy privilege and ambition by giving voice to the story of Mary Jo Kopechne in "Chappaquiddick." It's a week of silence in this episode of Seeing and Believing. 

Theme music by Alexander Osbornand Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_148.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 1:18am EDT

Wes Anderson's latest hotly anticipated film hit theaters over the weekend, so Wade and Kevin get in touch with their inner dog lovers to review it. How does the stop-motion animated film stack up against the rest of Anderson's filmography? And what about the charges of orientalism and cultural appropriation that have been leveled against the film? The guys then turn their attention to subject matter (slightly) closer to home with their review of one of the three faith-based films to be released around Easter: Paul, Apostle of Christ.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_147.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 1:23am EDT

For all our dietary awareness these days, one thing we don’t consider much is that our food has a backstory. While obsessing about gluten and fat and carbs, we are neglecting the culture and history and heritage. And we are malnourished because of it. Food carries much weight and power in our lives—defining who we are and where we come from. The foods that shape us as people and communities sustain us, give us life. But what happens when a particular dish or cuisine is consumed into another’s culture with no intent of honoring the backstory? What if the very dishes that shape us are stripped of their history and significance? In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza invites Kendall Vanderslice and Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros to discuss the ways that food is laid to waste when its backstory isn’t preserved. The conversation touches on the role that power structures, colonization, lazy storytelling, and revisionist history affect our most beloved cuisines. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: How are you learning to be more sensitive to cultural appropriation?

Direct download: 131_Persuasion_131_Your_Food_Has_a_Backstory.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

It's nerd heaven on this week's episode of the show! First up is Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's wildly popular nerd-service novel, Ready Player One. Spielberg himself is responsible for a lot of geek nostalgia for his own earlier films; can he deliver the goods when making a movie specifically about geek nostalgia? Then the guys turn their attention to another nerd-adjacent blockbuster: Pacific Rim: Uprising, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's hit movie about giant robots protecting Earth's coastal cities from giant monsters.

Music interlude by Alan Silvestri, "Ready Player One - Main Theme," from the Ready Player One official soundtrack.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_146.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:31am EDT

With an African-American cast and female-strong story line, the movie Black Panther has broken the Marvel mold. And fans can’t get enough. Movie sales have already hit $1 billion worldwide and are still going strong. The film is also a cultural phenomenon, sparking the M’Baku Challenge meme on Twitter and replicate costumes for cosplayers of color. What will be the lasting impact of this film? In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza invites Kathryn Freeman to discuss the vision of flourishing represented in Black Panther and what that means especially for black women. The conversation touches on the way African-American women are represented in Black Panther, other films, society at large, and within Christian circles. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Be sure to answer our question of the day: How has Black Panther altered your notions of female flourishing?

Direct download: Persuasion_130.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 8:55pm EDT

Ava Duvernay and Disney's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time has people all over the place wondering how the beloved novel does on the big screen. Wade and Kevin intend to find out. Then they plumb events a little closer to Earth with their review of The Death of Stalin, the latest black-humored political satire from writer/director Armando Iannucci. What happens when a despot with a cult of personality and a coterie of sycophants dies suddenly, leaving a power vacuum behind?

Music interlude by Ababwa, "Sea Otters." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_145.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

With Kevin out this week, Wade is joined by Christ and Pop Culture staff writer Keegan Bradford to discuss Game Night, the new comedy from John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Will this roll of the dice starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams be the first great (or at least very good) comedy of 2018?

In their second segment, the duo discusses The Breadwinner, the Oscar-nominated animated film from Nora Twomey. It's a balance between light and heavy on Episode 144 of Seeing and Believing.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_144.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT

We humans can be a wee bit territorial. Take, for instance, the annual winter parking feuds in Chicago. Once winter hits and the snow starts falling, otherwise friendly neighbors begin claiming their cleared out parking spots using all manner of markers, from cardboard celebrity cutouts to lawn furniture to religious icons. And woe to the person who removes the marker and steals the newly shoveled spot! We may chuckle at such behavior, but claiming our space is something we are all prone to do.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the ways that we seek to stake our claim for space, power, and rights and how we can all learn to live together on the same proverbial lawn. Listen and laugh and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: 129_Persuasion_129_Get_off_My_Proverbial_Lawn.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

Seeing & Believing goes on an expedition into the dark, weird, and dreamlike this week. First, Wade and Kevin journey into the heart of "the Shimmer" with their review of Alex Garland's latest sci-fi mind-trip, Annihilation. Then they turn to consider Abbas Kiarostami's final film, the documentary 24 Frames. It may not be sci-fi, but it's definitely a mind-trip, and the guys try to unpack the ideas binding together the twenty-four vignettes that make up the film.

Music interlude by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, "Lighthouse Chamber," from the Annihilation official soundtrack.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_143.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:48pm EDT

Drew and Tyler chat Gina Dalfonzo about her recent article “I, Ashley: We’re Still Imposing the Harding-Kerrigan Narrative on Young Female Skaters.” We discuss the double standard present in sports fandom with regard to how people tend to react to vocal female athletes compared to male athletes. We also discuss how we treat athletes and react to their failures and successes.


Is the female voice having her day? Some would say yes, considering the recent pro-women movements and support for gender equality. Even so, the biggest voices have typically belonged to men, making it tough to hear what women have been saying all along. Both in decibels and weight, what men say has been valued over-and-above whatever women have said. Awareness of this imbalance has grown, as of late, causing men to seek out the perspectives, opinions, and expertise of women. A recent report in The Atlantic, for example, documented the good effort of a male scientist as he determined to give equal exposure to colleagues of both sexes. Such an effort backfired for another man, however, when he sought to split his reading between male and female authors. His account raised the ire of social media and plenty of reaction pieces. And it raises the question about intent in seeking out female voices. Is this merely a ploy to appear sensitive to the other half of the population? In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss several recent happenings that expose faulty reasoning for turning toward women’s voices and consider a better way forward. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: ADD QUESTION HERE.

Direct download: Persuasion_128_Insert_Female_Voice_Here.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:29am EDT

Wade and Kevin journey to Wakanda this week as they review Ryan Coogler's trailblazing contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther. Much discussion follows about just how far outside the lines Coogler is able to color with his superhero film. The guys then turn their attention to the upcoming Oscar broadcast, discussing their hot-button categories and predictions about which films and filmmakers will be taking home trophies.

Music interlude by the Orange Rocket, "As Far as the Distortion." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_142.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:49pm EDT

The 2018 Winter Olympics are keeping viewers enchanted, if not sleep deprived, as we cheer on our nation’s best athletes on the worldwide stage. News and primetime coverage is crafted, just the way we like it: loaded with underdogs, unbelievable feats, and swelling music. But that’s not all. The Olympics has it’s fair share of strange news too.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the side stories that bring the Olympics back into reality. There’s the Russian curling Bronze medalist that’s under investigation for doping, the American skier accused of cheating the system to compete for Hungary, and the Tongan who competed in cross country skiing after 12 weeks of training. These stories tell us a different side of the Olympics, one that has a hint of humor and a load of realism. Listen to some of the weird stories, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: 127_Persuasion_127_When_the_Olympics_Get_Weird.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

Do you dream of winning the lottery? At some point, everyday money stressors inspire even the most practical among us to imagine what life would be like with an endless supply of cash. For a recent Powerball Lottery winner from New Hampshire, this dream is now reality: she’s won $570 million. She hasn’t claimed it yet though—because lottery rules require that she make her win public knowledge, and she doesn’t want to lose her anonymity. The case is now headed to court. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the life change that comes when you suddenly—and publicly—come into wealth. Is it possible to gain wealth without losing the life you hold dear? Do lottery players realize they are gambling with their very lives? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer the question of the day: Would you sacrifice your privacy for half a billion dollars?

Direct download: 126_Persuasion_126_Lottery_Dreams__Nightmares.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

It's evil alternate dimensions and marmalade on this week's show, as the guys review two films without much common ground. First up is The Cloverfield Paradox, fresh off its much-buzzed-about viral release immediately following the Super Bowl. As the continuation of the loosely interconnected Cloverfield franchise, Julius Onah's film has some big shoes to fill. Does it succeed in filling them? Wade and Kevin then travel to another alternate universeóone in which gentleness and good will reign supreme with their review of Paddington 2, one of the only films to have a perfect 100% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Will Seeing & Believing mess up that average? Listen to find out!

Music interlude by Tobago and d'Lime, "Love Thy Neighbor," from the Paddington 2 official soundtrack.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_141.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

Wade and Kevin take care of the last two Best Picture nominees not to have gotten a review on the show so far. First, Joe Wright returns to the World War II era with his biopic of Winston Churchill: the Gary Oldman starring Darkest Hour. Then the guys turn their attention to the sun-kissed environs of Italy as they review Luca Guadagnino's summer romance/coming-of-age story, Call Me by Your Name.

Music interlude by Sufjan Stevens, "Mystery of Love," from the official soundtrack for Call Me by Your Name.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_140.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:16am EDT

Drew and Tyler chat with Hal Koss about his recent article “Lady Bird Offers Us an Antidote for Our Cultural Homesickness.” We discuss the ultimately hopeful message of Lady Bird. We also chat about the impact our places of origin have had on us and the connection between love and attention.


If you forget to post a life event online, did it really happen? Such a philosophical question is the basis of this episode of Persuasion. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson talk about our use of online platforms as a sort of repository for all of our life happenings, big and small, how they become an external hard drive for preserving memories, whether images or words, for all-eternity. But whatever we fail to record will be missing from our online historical record, in essence, it’s as if it didn’t happen. This generation’s use of a technological memory presents all sorts of quandaries and questions. Technology is forming us to be a certain kind of people… do we even know what we are becoming? An NPR article points to our desire for “digital transcendence”—a way of interacting in the world that cements our identities online, where we create the life we long for using our own hands… attached to a smartphone. Such devices are merely “digital extensions” of our selves and our minds, for who would we be without them? Do we know how to call loved ones? Do we know how to navigate highways or country roads? Do we lose a sense of joy without the digital cheers after posting photos of a delicious meal or the discovery of a beautiful place? Are we trying to capture a sense of self in ways that will forever elude us? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What part of online interaction is least satisfying for you?

Direct download: Persuasion_125_Digital_Transcendence.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:18am EDT

It's dressmakers and figure skaters on the show this week, but the movies being reviewed are anything but prim and proper. First up is Paul Thomas Anderson's much-anticipated new film, Phantom Thread, which stars Daniel Day Lewis in his swan-song role as a fastidious tyrant who makes dresses. Then the guys turn to the brash biopic of Tonya Harding that netted Margot Robbie an Oscar nod: I, Tonya. Will either of these films cause the guys to backtrack on their top-10 lists from last week?

Music interlude from the official soundtrack for Phantom Thread, "House of Woodcock."

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: 139_Seeing_and_Believing_139_-_Phantom_Thread_and_I_Tonya.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:53pm EDT

Drew and Tyler are back in 2018 with CaPC writer Justin Cloyd to chat about his recent article “The Relatable Longings of Stranger Things and This is Us“. The discussion covers the concept of longing in both shows while the hosts share their thoughts on both series in general, and their hopes for these two shows going forward.


Each week the news seems to deliver yet another story about sexual harassment, assault, or abuse. The magnitude of accounts only confirms what victims already know: the weakest in the world are at risk when the worst among us are given power without accountability. But it’s not just those with power that keep corrupt systems in place. We all contribute to the culture when we refuse to listen to those who have been hurt and refuse to hold perpetrators to account for their monstrous acts. Is there hope for changing this culture of abuse and assault?

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza invites Christ and Pop Culture staff writer Abby Perry to discuss if change is possible and how we can work toward it. Key to the conversation is the way we listen to victims and horrific stories, as well as how we practice and model repentance. Our ability to face the worst in the world—and in ourselves—is the first step in making the world a life-giving place for us all. Learn about all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persausion_124.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

The guys try to balance out their emotions in the cold, dark days of January by reviewing an uplifting musical (The Greatest Showman) and a TV show about how technology will destroy us all (Black Mirror). Does the make-'em-smile spirit of Michael Gracey's treatment of P.T. Barnum's life help the guys feel better about Charlie Brooker's bleak techno-prophecies? Listen to find out!

Music interlude from the official soundtrack for The Greatest Showman, "This Is Me."

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_138.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

A recent Forbes article states that freelancers now make up more than 1/3 of the U.S. workforce. The category lumps together men and women who craft a nontraditional work life as well as entrepreneurs who take a chance and launch a business. The excitement of making your own work adventure comes with the stress of uncertainty. Financial strain, emotional tension, relational troubles, and more follow those who take the plunge into self-employment and startup life. And if you are married and have a family? How your work ebbs and flows affects them too. How can you navigate these choppy waters?

Author and Inc.com columnist Dorcas Cheng-Tozun offers her insight in this episode of Persuasion with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson. In her new book, Start Love Repeat: How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-Up World, Dorcas details how she and her entrepreneurial husband have survived and thrived in their nontraditional work life. Conversation covers everything from discerning marketplace trends to faith matters to spouses supporting each other for better or for worse. Learn about all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: If you could start any business, what would it be?


The most wonderful time of the year comes in January for Seeing & Believing, as Wade and Kevin finally get to share their ten favorite films from the past year. As a strong year all around, 2017 offers much to like. Will Kevin finally learn to stop worrying and love a superhero movie? Will Spielberg find his way back onto Wade's top 10 after a couple-years' drought? Will the guys agree about anything? All those questions and more are answered on this special plus-sized episode!

Music interlude from the Dunkirk official soundtrack, Supermarine

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_137.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 1:48am EDT

From travel intelligence and prophets to pets and knolling—we’ve covered quite the array of topics on Persuasion this year. Even with all that talking, there are plenty of things we didn’t say in 2017. The year was full of turmoil and unrest. White supremecy protests, political scandals, the #metoo movement, terrorist attacks, tragedies at home and abroad… these topics didn’t get slated for an episode this past year, and you may have wondered why.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson talk about the things they didn’t talk about in 2017 to shed light on their recording decisions. Recent articles have raised the valid question about women guarding their platforms by avoiding controversial or unsettling conversation. Is it possible—even for women—to have meaningful, sometimes heated, dialogue about tough topics? Erin and Hannah believe it is, but wisdom is needed for handling sensitive topics. Learn answers to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What topics would you like to hear on Persuasion in 2018?

Direct download: 122_Persuasion_122_Things_We_Didn_t_Say_in_2017.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

The Christ and Pop Culture Top 25 for 2017 list and ranking debate comes to an end with the second part of the show. Jonathan and crew return to rank the completed list in order from 25 to 1 in order of what they believe to be the best reflections of the good, the true, and the beautiful in pop culture.

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Part_2.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:54pm EDT

Jonathan is back, along with special guests Erin Straza, Luke T. Harrington, Tyler Burns, and newcomer Kaitlyn Schuss sit down for a marathon recording session to finalize the CaPC 25 for 2017. The pop culture events, people, movies, TV shows, albums, and more that defined 2017 in ways that reflected the good, the true, and the beautiful are molded into near final form in this two part extravaganza!

In Part 1, the panel has napped, been caffeinated, and then takes the list of nominations from our writer's group and decides amongst themselves which of the nominations are indeed deserving of inclusion. Wild cards will be brought in, nominations that didn't receive enough backing to make it onto the list are considered, and a the unthinkable happens when Jonathan attempts to remove Kendrick Lamar from the list!

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Part_1.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

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