Christ and Pop Culture (persuasion)

We’ve grown weary of one dimensional stories and perfected images in social media. Presenting what’s real is rare and beautiful—which is why we’re drawn to it when we see it. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson welcome Merritt Onsa, creator of the Marriage Readiness Project, to discuss how Merritt has leveraged social media to break down walls to grow her ministry and spread her message. 

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_45.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

An Ounce of Persuasion: A fast-chat episode with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discussing conspiracy theories and how social media fuels them. Although not immediately discernible, what we share online has consequences, shaping thoughts and opinions—that’s why some common sense is needed when those juicy stories cross our feeds.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_44.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

It’s a new year, brimming with opportunities to make the next 12 months your best EVER! Or so we’re told, year in year out. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the value of a new start, how to approach resolutions, and where God’s grace fits into our dreams for the future.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_43.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:22am EDT

Do you ever grow weary of the overly sanitized and saccharine expressions of Christmas cheer? Many people do, causing some to rebel with darker forms of festivities. Zombie nativities, Krampus parades, a noose-hung Santa—these all made the news this season. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss these bizarre and scary elements of Christmas and offer a few recommendations for a meaningful holiday.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_42.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Shakes. Oils. Bags. Kitchen gadgets. Food. Vitamins. Skin care. These are just a few of the products sold in the $34 billion multilevel marketing industry—one dominated by women as both the buyers and sellers. Why does this business structure have such appeal among women and especially among Christian women? How does this model affect our friendships and our Gospel witness? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today associate editor and Her.menuetics blog editor, to discuss the phenomenon. 

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_41.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Every Christmas, consumer spending skyrockets. We are really good at buying a lot of stuff. Gifts, decorations, food, travel—Christmas is an expensive celebration. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss traditions, shopping, the pressure to spend, and what contributes to our personal budget standards (which are always justified and reasonable, of course). 

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_40.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

An Ounce of Persuasion fast-chat episode with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discussing how men and women express humor, ideas, and confidence. How we communicate speaks volumes about who we are as individuals and can be a powerful force for shaping the way men and women express themselves in our spheres of influence.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_39.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:53am EDT

Thanksgiving is here! We know it’s about more than turkey and all the trimmings, but the eating can easily overshadow the thanks-giving this day is meant to prompt in us. In this episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss holiday traditions, the good and bad of the recent gratitude movement, and how to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. 

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_38.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:06am EDT

An Ounce of Persuasion fast-chat episode with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discussing the spread of “NPR Voice,” a speaking style that is attributed to NPR broadcasters but is growing in popularity among speakers on every platform. What do we lose when everyone tries to sound the same?

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_37.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sexual sin is devastating to relationships. Often discussion and support is centered on the one who has gotten caught up in the sin. But what’s the fallout for the one who was betrayed? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson host a special listener who shares her experience of betrayal, the turmoil of healing, and the redemption God has brought to her marriage. 

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_36.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

An Ounce of Persuasion: A fast-chat episode with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discussing the bane of school fundraisers. Is it ethical for corporations to recruit our children for their sales force? Is there a way to support local schools without having to purchase kitschy trinkets and unappetizing frozen foods? Can we change the world?!?! (Anything is possible.)

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_35.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

If the pursuit of fame has become our newfound American pastime, the exploitation of it is our new profession. But how should the famous manage their status? How should the public behave toward celebrities? Why do we so long for special recognition and treatment? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss how we fuel to the cult of celebrity by how we respond to the famous and pursue the spotlight for ourselves. 

Direct download: Persuasion_Epsidoe_34.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT

What happens when the Gospel is packaged a little too well? Socality found out when its feed inspired the parody Instagram account Socality Barbie. Its popularity proves that Although the digital world makes it possible for us to craft beautiful stories and images for ourselves and our faith, the pieces may not add up to the watching world. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson hash out the weakness and danger of one dimensional stories and the importance of telling the truth in all spaces.

Direct download: Persausion_Episode_33.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:57am EDT

An Ounce of Persuasion: A fast-chat episode with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discussing “courtesy dates”—the convention in Christian dating which women are urged to accept a date from any man who asks out of courtesy. Is this Christian kindness to a brave guy or merely a slow rejection?

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_32.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

In the New York Times best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo outlines her approach to transformation via decluttering and keeping only what sparks joy. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the tenets of Kondo’s book and how we can find greater joy in our daily tasks by working to create beauty instead of hurrying through our mundane chores.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_31.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:10pm EDT

Favorite books. The Pope. Obama’s faith. SEX. Persuasion listeners submitted questions covering these topics—and more!—for Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson to answer on this Ask Us Anything episode. 

Direct download: Persusion_Episode_30.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina was recently belittled by fellow candidate Donald Trump—but not for her policy or platform. Rather, Trump attacked the look on her face. Whether Trump meant her measure of beauty or her countenance, the remark raises the age-old question of society’s expectation that women present a smiling face to the world. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss Fiorina’s brilliant response to Trump, as well as the Stop Telling Us to Smile campaign that is meant free women from the need to smile their way through life. 

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_29.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Custom hearses, parade processionals, destination funerals—these are the latest trends in the funeral industry. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss our culture’s growing fascination with end-of-life gatherings devoid of traditional services and mourning, raising the question of the need and purpose of grieving our losses.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_28.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:19am EDT

Conversations about sexual sin happen most often in same-gender circles: men with men, women with women. Recent scandals, however, reveal much more is needed if we are to gain ground against this mighty foe. Erin Straza, Hannah Anderson, and Joe Rigney continue their series in the wake of Ashley Madison by discussing how men and women can begin battling together against sexual sin through honest conversation, bold confession, and amazing grace.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_27.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Recent news has us cheering and jeering men for walking out society’s definitions of manhood. We cheer the U.S. men who stopped a gunman in France, touting their courageous and self-sacrificing act. And we jeer the millions of men exposed as Ashley Madison account holders, blasting their self-serving and deceitful behavior. In this episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson explore definitions of manhood, how they shape our expectations of men, and the ways that men often behave more like boys.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_26.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We meet others first through the body we live in, which may be why it’s so easy to become obsessed with them. In addition to grooming, exercising, dressing them, we are now able to nip, tuck, amputate and reassign genders to our bodies to make them whatever we wish them to be. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson talk about the cultural differences between biological sex and cultural gender assignment, Target’s drive for gender neutral toys, the Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner transition and how faith can both help and hinder our ability to live in the skin we’re in.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_25.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

More and more, you’re encouraged to “say what you want to say” and to give all your secrets away. But can the call to transparency become nothing more than voyeurism? What role should the virtues of discretion and privacy play in our lives?  CAPC staff writers Val Dunham and Hannah Anderson discuss Donald Trump, reality TV, and the pressure to be “authentic.”

Direct download: Persuasion_Ep_24.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:35am EDT

Conflicts among Christians aren’t new, but the Internet gives us a new place to engage in them. Before a watching world, we air our differences on social media, call people to account in lengthy blog posts, and point out errors via video. Is this the best space for conflict to be resolved? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the pros and cons.

Direct download: Persuasion_Ep_23.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:27am EDT

Have you ever wondered how to have a persuasive conversation about faith in today’s culture? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson offer examples and guidelines for how to engage with others in a persuasive yet winsome way. Discussion covers winsome evangelistic techniques, the effectiveness of online witnessing, and the proper approach for engaging with people who hold different beliefs.

Direct download: Persuasion_22.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Personality tests are all the rage these days, from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to the endless BuzzFeed quizzes. Erin Straza (INFP / The Hulk) and Hannah Anderson (ENTP / Ironman) discuss the wisdom and fun such tests can provide and address the concern of cult from a Christian perspective.

Direct download: Persuasion_Ep_21.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Erin welcomes acclaimed novelist Bret Lott to Persuasion to discuss his latest release, a nonfiction work titled Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian. Bret shares his insights for an approach to art, calling, and writing.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_18.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Keeping up with the Joneses used to mean moving to a bigger home or getting the latest gadgets. Today’s tiny house movement may change all that, as people are reassessing their attachment to material goods. In this episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the allure of this trend as well as potential it has for asceticism and guilt.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_19.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:19am EDT

Female icons Elizabeth Elliot and Caitlyn Jenner are in the news, offering two versions of what it means to be a woman. Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson wrestle out the issues surrounding these complex, complicated people and the definitions of womanhood they espouse.

Direct download: Let_Me_Be_a_Woman.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Is the death penalty fair retribution for the guilty? Is it cruel and base retaliation? Is it a biblical mandate from God? There are no easy answers for such questions, prompting many of us to back away from the discussion. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss this complex and complicated issue with Stacy Anderson, executive director of Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and board president for the Nebraska Innocence Project.

Direct download: Facing_the_Death_Penalty.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 7:50am EDT

Summer vacations are just ahead, but taking time off to rest isn’t easy. Rest can feel like more work than it’s worth. In this episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss our need for rest—especially as it pertains to spiritual formation—and the challenge of making rest a priority in a society that doesn’t value it.

Direct download: The_Hard_Work_of_Rest.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Despite the trend toward urbanization, country living continues to hold a place in our cultural imagination, whether it comes via the new domesticity, country music, or post-apocalyptic stories that echo a time before industrializaion. In this episode, co-host Hannah Anderson is joined by her husband, Nathan, to discuss the lure of rural living as well as its darker side.

Direct download: Green_Acres_The_Place_to_Be.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Stories are powerful agents for community, strengthening bonds and forging understanding. But is it possibly we have become so attached to particular story lines that our perspective gets skewed? Hannah and Erin discuss the Twitter-rage toward Joss Wheden’s storytelling and how the resource Life as We Know It can build the community we all crave through the telling of our personal stories.

Direct download: Whats_Your_Story.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

All moms are amazing, but some moms go beyond the norm, facing down dangerous circumstances to ensure their children survive. Erin and Hannah discuss Baltimore’s #momoftheyear and motherhood in the Nazi concentration camps.

Direct download: Mama_Mia.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:07pm EDT

Why do we go back to the same stories time and again? Whether it’s the beauty of the Gospel or the comfort of 80s sitcoms, our ears itch for the familiar. Erin Straza discusses the popularity of reruns and repeats in storytelling with CAPC writer Amber Stamper and guest Russ Ramsey.

Direct download: Reruns__Repeats.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We often think of "ambition" and "desire" as four-letter words, but What if desire and ambition are precisely God's way of leading us through the world?

In this episode, guest Jen Pollock Michel challenges us to rethink the relationship between desire and faith. We also tackle why Saturday Night Live's portrayal of Presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton is so funny--and whether it should be.

Direct download: You_Go_Girl_Desire_and_Ambition_in_the_Life_of_Faith.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 8:32am EDT

What if your biggest regret was announced to the world? When our worst selves are revealed, it can produce shame—as it did for Monica Lewisnki—or freedom—as it did for the subjects of a confessional photography project. Guest host Dawn Araujo joins Erin Straza to discuss the intersection of shame culture, cyberbullying, and public confession.

Direct download: Our_Worst_Selves_-_Cyberbullying__Public_Confession_with_Dawn_Araujo.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What role do values play in shaping the life we lead? Special guest—and first male on the show—Preston Yancey joins Erin and Hannah to discuss how our decisions about everything from platform building to the #LeanInTogether movement are a product of the values we hold dear.

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

Special guest Karen Swallow Prior joins Hannah and Erin to discuss her book (Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist) as well as the value of working while pursuing higher education.

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

It is often said that we are spiritual beings housed in physical bodies. In this episode, Hannah and Erin discuss physical embodiment as it relates to the personal space infringement by Joe Biden and John Travolta as well as how it’s addressed by Joe Rigney in his book The Things of Earth.

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

Hannah and Erin discuss the sexual exploitation of teens joining ISIS, visit with Simone Halpin from Naomi’s House to highlight human trafficking here at home, and close with a conversation about our use of Lenten practices.


How does likeability compare to other virtues? What should you watch on a snow day? How should we handle multi-level marketing opportunities?

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

Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson introduce their vision for the podcast, and interview JR Vassar to talk about his book "Glory Hunger".

Direct download: Persuasion_-_Episode_1.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

A quick hello from Persuasion host Erin Straza. Stay tuned!

Direct download: Persuasion_Feed_Test.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT