Christ and Pop Culture (persuasion)

Social divides are present in every culture. If you want to be an insider, you learn to rules of the class and abide by them. Breaking the rules results in embarrassment or even exclusion. As an insider, knowing the rules gives you a sense of belonging with those in the group and even power over those who are not. As an outsider, the rules may be confusing or impossible to abide by—making movement between classes difficult at best. New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks recently wrote about a common class barrier: fancy sandwich shops with obscure names that only upper-class types understand. Such naming structures cater to a certain crowd (the first step in savvy marketing and business strategy) but also serve to keep class divides in place by making those outside too uncomfortable to venture in. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson cover everything from faux pas to class snobbery to the structures that keep us in our place. 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’s your most embarrassing faux pas?



Direct download: Persuasion_105.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

If you’ve read the Bible, you’ve likely encountered some strange and confusing passages. The accounts tell us of terrible atrocities and injustices, often with little commentary condemning the behaviors our hearts and minds rail against. And many times, women are the ones suffering the fall out. All this raises concerns, especially among women, of the place the Bible should hold in matters of life and faith. Does the Bible endorse harmful treatment of women? Can modern, rational women embrace the Christian faith? To help us with this discussion, Wendy Alsup joins this episode of Persuasion with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson. Alsup’s recent book addresses the common questions raised in her book Is the Bible Good for Women?: Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture. The conversation here begins with the narrative arc of Scripture and why the Bible is not simply a moralistic guidebook. Listen for discussion on all these questions 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 Bible passage about women is most baffling to you?

Direct download: Persuasion_104.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

If life is like a dance, then safety is the move of the decade. Bad things happen, and we start the safety dance, trying maneuver ourselves and our loved ones away from danger. We sidestep from life in an attempt to maintain a minimum safe distance from anything that could potential inflict harm. But in this world, there is no place that’s 100% safe. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson attempt to sort out our society’s near obsession with being safe. From safety drills to showering during storms to overseas travel, safety concerns dictate our lives and elevate safety as our top priority in life—even above and beyond our call to trust God with the number of our days. What happens when we worship at the alter of safety? How do we relax into living this life, despite the danger? How can we survive the guilt when bad things happen and we’re chastised for not taking greater precautions? Listen for discussion on all these questions 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’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done in the name of safety?

Direct download: 103_Persuasion_Episode_103.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

What if you could accomplish a full day’s work in only three hours? That’s the premise of a research study that affirmed what we already know about the law of diminishing returns: The more we work, the less effective we become with each additional hour of effort. It turns out the best practice for maximum productivity is to work in concentrated bursts followed by a short recovery period. This technique isn’t necessarily new. In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo packaged it as the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method monitored by a timer to signal work and break intervals. (The name pomodoros is inspired by the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he first used.) Pomodoro doesn’t have a corner on the interval time management market. There are plenty of apps and books with recommendations to fit all sorts of work situations and worker personalities.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the pros and cons of our busy lives and dream of the extra time (and energy) they would have by cramming eight hours of productivity into just three. Do you use a time blocking method to enhance your work productivity? Have you achieved a three-hour workday? Let us know on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the members-only community on Facebook. Thanks for joining the conversation!

Direct download: 102_Persuasion_Episode_102.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:30pm EDT

Few who marry expect their marriage to produce anything less than marital bliss. But that bliss isn’t automatic—in fact, it begins in an unexpected place: personal discipleship. Since June is one of the most popular months to say “I do,” in this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite BJ Thompson to discuss the building blocks for strong marriages and how marriage itself is the backdrop for discipleship. Thompson shares from his experience leading Build a Better Us, a marriage discipleship organization that helps couples grow individually for the benefit of marriages and communities. Discussion in this episode is packed, touching on how strong marriages stabilize communities and why marriages are only as healthy as each spouse’s own relationship with God. Pre-marital counseling rarely prepares a couple for the refining they will face as honeymoon joy fades into the challenges of day-to-day life. That’s when the work begins, and perhaps that is the message couples need to hear: Saying “I do” is your commitment to lifelong refining and discipleship.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_101.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

Raise your glass or coffee mug—we’re celebrating! Today marks the 100th episode of Persuasion. Over the past two years, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson have been starting conversations on everything from tiny houses to conspiracy theories to sexual sin. The topics have been as diverse as the guests who have come to share their expertise. In this celebratory chat, Erin and Hannah reminisce while inviting listeners behind the podcasting curtain to hear how Persuasion comes together each week. Podcasting has changed the way we  access discussion-based commentary, making it possible for shows like Persuasion to have a voice. Gratitude flows for the listeners who have tuned in over the past two and a half years to hear fine ladies, rational minds, and the best kind of company dish on pertinent ideas and issues. Has Persuasion stirred any conversations for you? Let us know on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the members-only community on Facebook. Thanks for joining the conversation!

Direct download: 100_Persuasion_Episode_100.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:42am EDT

If you are like 75% of Americans, the neighbors next door are actually the strangers next door: only 25% of Americans surveyed knew their neighbors by name. Modern life contributes, of course. The pace is fast. Technology allows us to easily engage with people beyond our neighborhood. Much of our work and play is away from home. All these factors and more mean that we have little down time to chat with the people who live next door or across the street or on the other side of the fence. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson dissect how modern life has changed the way we interact with those who live in close proximity. But modern life doesn’t negate Jesus’ call to be true neighbors to one another.

So what does that look like in this day? Erin and Hannah share a few of their own love-you-neighbor fails and consider ways to overcome the stranger next door dilemma. Discussion wraps with a summary of Hannah’s 2016 article at Christ and Pop Culture on the kindness of Mister Rogers and how he modeled the sort of neighbor we should strive to be. Being mindful of the people in your neighborhood or in your daily path is the first step in getting to know their names and their stories, a small sort of kindness that our world needs more of. Do you know your neighbors? We’d like to hear about the ones you appreciate and the ones you want to know. Stop out on Twitter to answer the Question of the Day: Who are your neighbors?

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_99.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

 Graduation season is here! We all know the drill: the processional of robe–and-cap clad young people, the pomp and circumstance. And let’s not forget the commencement speech. The speaker is tasked with sending out a new batch of graduates with final words that encompass and sum-up their years of study. Most speeches are quickly forgotten, although a few standout due to the presenter or content. For example, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave an unforgettable address to Berkeley’s 2016 class, and it is praised as one of the best. David Foster Wallace’s profound 2005 speech at Kenyon College, titled This Is Water, was later published as a book. And powerhouse Bill Gates tweeted to all 2017 graduates his words of wisdom, proving that sometimes fewer words are just as effective as a 25-minute speech. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the typical wisdom commencement speakers dispense to graduates, which usually includes something about following dreams and refusing to settle for less than the best in life. The words are heavy on sunshine, but light in terms of helping graduates adjust to life beyond their college experience. Into that void, Erin and Hannah offer a few practical tips for young people as they embark on the journey that is adulthood.   
Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_98.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

In the digital age, working from home is no longer the prevue of the lucky few. Whether you crunch numbers or sell jewelry, more and more of us are experiencing the benefits of flexible work hours and short commutes. And while corporations tally the benefits in increased productivity and decreased costs, what does it mean for employees and for the home itself? What happens when the marketplace comes into our private space? On this week’s episode, author Courtney Reissig joins Hannah Anderson to discuss the plusses and pitfalls of working from home.

Direct download: 97_Persuasion_Episode_97.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

Being childless on Mother’s Day can be tough. Between family celebrations and church services, the day can take a huge emotional toll on the woman who is struggling with barrenness.

On this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson welcome Karen Swallow Prior to discuss her recent ERLC article titled “Called to childlessness: The surprising ways of God.” Prior speaks of the infertility she and her husband have faced and how God has affirmed that being childless makes way for another calling—one that isn’t about a lack of children but about a different kind of abundance. Both Prior and Straza speak of how they handle grief, feeling out of place, and insensitive questions. Discussion also touches on ways the Church can minister to women who are not moms, whether they are single, barren, or simply not sure they are called to motherhood. While the Church has rightly placed great value on the gift of children and the weight of motherhood, this has resulted in pressure for couples to pursue children no matter the cost or risk. Be sure to pop out to Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to answer the question of day: What kind of local support have you had from your church family in regards to our topic today?

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_96.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:31am EDT