Christ and Pop Culture (persuasion)

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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?


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 EST

How’s your Christmas joy holding up? There are only days remaining before Christmas, but for many, the most wonderful time of the year isn’t always merry and bright. It’s full of extra pressures to create the sort of Christmas that wows on in crafting and baking and decorating. Which is great, if you are naturally gifted in these arts. If this isn’t your thing, you may wonder if you are ruining Christmas for your loved ones. Is it still Christmas if your gifts aren’t wrapped to match this year’s Christmas decor theme? What if your outside lights aren’t synched to blink with a custom song selection? And what if your gingerbread house is a hot mess and collapses into a heap? These may be ancillary, but so much of our celebrating employs skills many of us crack out only once a year, which can pile on stress in the middle of a season that should be filled with joy.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss ways we put less pressure on ourselves to have a picture-perfect Christmas as well as how we can appreciate those who naturally shine in making Christmas celebrations beautiful. Learn answers 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_121_-_When_Your_Christmas_Joy_Crumbles.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

Everyone knows about Santa’s Naughty or Nice List. If you are Nice, you get presents. If you are Naughty, you get coal. This tale is repeated every Christmas without fail, woven into our movies and books. It’s even perpetuated by the Elf on the Shelf phenomena, which traps parents into 24 days of elaborate elf happenings (mostly on the Naughty side, I might add), all to convince their children that the elf is track Naughty and Nice behavior for Santa. But what happens to those on the Naughty List? Are you stuck there forever? Does the slate get cleared every Christmas so we can start anew?

Such questions form the basis of this episode Persuasion. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss their own childhood experiences with the Naughty/Nice List and then compare that to the truth of God’s grace that changes us from the inside out. We embrace this hope for change for ourselves, but often we struggle to allow those we deem Naughty the same space for transformation. Is it possible those we place on the Naughty List don’t deserve to be? NPR’s Invisibilia builds a case that our behavior and personality are highly regulated by situation, and since we interact with others in the same contexts, we presume to know which list to put them on. What if people can not only change but are also actually much more layered and complex than we allow them to be? What if we are putting people on the wrong list? 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 changes have you seen in yourself in 2017?

Direct download: 120_Persuasion_120.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 4:24pm EST

Big news broke from the British royal family: Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle, who is a U.S. citizen, actress, and humanitarian. The announcement produced an immediate frenzy of excitement from commoners wanting to know all the details, and news outlets were happy to oblige.

You may be wondering why this important when so much is wrong in the world today, so Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson share their hot takes in this episode of Persuasion. Is the British royal engagement watch a shallow distraction, akin to U.S. paparazzi celebrity stalking? How is Megan similar to her future sister-in-law Catherine and her finance’s late mother, Diana? Why does a successful royal marriage benefit society as a whole? 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: Is it appropriate to join in the royal engagement watch?

Direct download: Persuasion_119_Royals.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:33pm EST

The holidays are here! The many festivities and social obligations can be an added stress, but even more so if you have to go it alone. How do the unmarried people in our midst navigate this season that focuses so much on the nuclear family? Although family is a beautiful thing, it can sting the hearts of those who are single when holiday celebrations are seemingly geared only for those who are married with children.

To shed light upon this sensitive reality, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Gina Dalfonzo to Persuasion. Dalfonzo is an author and cultural commentator for many outlets, as well as a staff writer at Christ and Pop Culture. Her recent release is titled One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church, in which she details the ways that we all can be more mindful about how we think about and treat those who are not married. In addition, Dalfonzo points out the untapped wisdom of singles and how their experiences have much to teach 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: For what aspect of the holidays do you need someone by your side, either literally or figuratively?

Direct download: 118_Persuasion_118_Going_Solo_during_the_Holidays_with_Gina_Dalfonzo.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:30pm EST