Christ and Pop Culture

It's been a while since Blade Runner 2049 came out, so we were about due for another movie about a futuristic dystopia filled with robots and cyborgs. Robert Rodriguez's and James Cameron's latest film, the adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's Alita: Battle Angel manga, certainly fits the bill. Having satisfied that need, we turn our attention to Shawn Snyder's tragicomedy about the messy mechanics of mortality, To Dust, starring Matthew Broderick and Geza Rohrig.

Music interlude by MaxB, "Sunday Morning." 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_189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

Every day we are reminded that our world isn’t even close to the Eden paradise God created. We know everything is in need of redemption. But that doesn’t prevent shock and outrage when particular instances of brokenness are exposed in people, systems, and society at large. When everything seems terrible, terrible becomes the norm. It becomes the way things are or the way things have always been—and that’s when we are in danger of conflating the status quo with God’s intent for the world. We need to think creatively to imagine something more than the norm.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Ready, Set, Think! series with a conversation about taking a fresh look at how the status quo shapes our thinking. Things that have always been a certain way become the normal mode of thinking and living, a thought framework that operates in our subconscious and influences everything we see. For example, our culture has incorporated Darwinian thoughts of might makes right and survival of the fittest. Most Christians would disagree with these theories on the surface but are completely unaware of how these still hold sway over their everyday choices for education, career, voting, and care for the least in society. How do we detect when the status quo is ruling us more so than God’s promised redemption? What societal norms do Christians need to be cautious about practicing? Can we subvert what’s always been to make room for God’s kingdom to flourish? 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: Has your faith prompted you to discard the status quo on a particular issue?

Direct download: Persuasion_159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am EDT

Are Lego movies still awesome? That's the question that preoccupies the guys during the first half of this week's show, as they review the sequel to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's hit The Lego Movie. The second film on the docket has fewer catchy songs in it but one heck of a title: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot. Sam Elliott does indeed engage in some very selective violence in this film, so the film lives up to its title; but is the rest of what Robert Krzykowski is doing in it worth your time?

Music interlude by Sundaug, "Rays." 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_188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

Good thinking can be hard to come by in the world today. Between the troubles we endure and the frustrations we face, the negative things loom large in our hearts and minds. Some say we should just choose joy and see the glass as gloriously half full. But that’s not always easy to do when the worst case scenarios play out at every turn and the glass hardly looks worse than half empty.

In this episode of Persuasion,Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Ready, Set, Think!series with a conversation about the blocks that form the foundation of our thinking for good or for ill. Our bent to find the good or the bad in a situation is more than mere optimism or pessimism—more than a mere personality bent. The way our brains respond to life goes even deeper. It’s more about having the core of our perspective redeemed and aligned with what’s been true since God created the world and called it good. If we see the world as hopelessly dark and broken, cynicism will stifle any hope for cultivating life and goodness. But if we see the world as good yet broken, we see the world and its creatures as God does: inherently valuable and worthy of redemption. Seeing the world as inherently good or bad shapes the way we see everything and the way we live.

Direct download: Persuasion_158_Good_Thinking.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

Seeing and Believing Episode 187: Steven Soderbergh's High Flying Bird and Joe Cornish's The Kid Who Would Be King Whether you like Sorkin-esque sports movies or kid-friendly Arthurian fantasy, we've got you covered this week. Steven Soderbergh's first Netflix film, High Flying Bird, follows a cunning sports agent as he shepherds a pro basketball rookie and his own career through an NBA lockout. Meanwhile, Joe Cornish's The Kid Who Would Be King offers a modern-day spin on the King Arthur myth, romping through London and the English countryside as a band of kids team up with Merlin to defeat King Arthur's age-old nemesis Morgana once and for all.

Music interlude by bellsmarie, "Just Peachy." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

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

Direct download: Seeing20and20Beliving20187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am EDT

For all the thinking we do, we usually don’t think twice about the preconceived notions we use to keep life simple. We like to place ideas into categories and give everyone a label according to their personality type or their social leanings. It’s a sort of shorthand, relieving us of the effort it takes to explore other people or ideas in full. It’s easier to apply the categories we’ve already figured out to make sense of every mystery or unknown. While it may be easier, such rigid thinking can trivialize the important.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Ready, Set, Think! series by inviting Jen Pollock Michel to the conversation. Together, they explore the benefits of thinking twice about issues and ideas that deserve a second thought. Jen defines today’s context as an “Either-Or World,” one in which we run to the extremes and look for security in certitude. Try as we may, it’s impossible to eliminate the gray areas of daily life! Faith is required. Referencing her forthcoming book, Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of “And” in an Either-Or World (May 2019, InterVarsity Press), Jen explains the beauty and wonder of paradox in the life of a Christian and how its embrace allows us to be at rest in a tumultuous age. Because the way we think affects how we engage with our neighbors and cultivate grace in the world, it’s crucial to think twice about how we think in order to grow and bear hope to a desperate world. 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 the most unsettling paradox you’ve been wrestling with?

Direct download: Persuasion_157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52am EDT

Seeing & Believing concludes its look at the eight Best Picture nominees this week with a review of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Rami Malek-starring biopic of Queen frontman Freddy Mercury and an arguable frontrunner for the big award. The guys also offer a review of Velvet Buzzsaw, the latest film from Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler). Releasing this weekend on Netflix, Buzzsaw offers a satirical look at the world of high art.

Music interlude by Wayne John Bradley, "Waiting." 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_186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58pm EDT

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