Christ and Pop Culture

One of the most hotly anticipated movies of the winter awards season, La La Land, has finally hit theaters, and the guys sit down with it for their last episode of 2016. How does Damien Chazelle's throwback to classic-Hollywood musical romances hold up? The film puts Wade and Kevin in mind of other great musical moments from movies, and they close things out with a list of their top five favorite such moments. Merry Christmas from Seeing and Believing!

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Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:08pm EDT

For many of us, Christmas shopping winds down just as the hunt rants up for the perfect calendar for 2017. There’s the traditional wall calendar for the family, the academic planner for the student, and the daily planner for the professional. But like most things in our culture, the options don’t end there. Planners and calendars are big business, with weighty brands like the Erin Condren LifePlanner, Plum Paper, Passion Planner, and Sacred Ordinary Days. Many of today’s planners can be customized and designed exactly to your own specifications—for a price, of course. You choose the style, the layout, the binding, and the theme. And if that’s not enough, you could simply create your own calendar, using the bullet journaling system that’s taken on a life of its own over at Pinterest. Bullet journaling is a scrapbooking planning mash-up for those who are artists at heart but can’t quit their day jobs. With so many approaches to organizing our days, certainly there is something to be learned from the calendar systems we choose. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson dissect the trends of planners and calendars and tease out what our planner-of-choice says about our personalities, goals, and gifting. If you’ve not selected your 2017 system yet, this discussion can help you sort out the options and land on the calendar option that’s the best fit for you.

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Tyler and Drew chat with Nana Dolce about her recent article “Ava DuVernay’s 13th Explores the Troubling Roots of Mass Incarceration. We discuss the 13th, a recent documentary on our nation’s problem of mass incarceration and the systemic injustice at its roots. We discuss how we might pursue repentance, serve in our prison systems, and start productive conversations about justice in our communities and churches.

Direct download: The_CaPC_Digest_Episode_69.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

That's no moon ... it's Rogue One, one of the biggest blockbuster releases of the year. Wade and Kevin sit down to talk about the latest film entry in the Star Wars universe; is it a worthy addition to the franchise? Also on the agenda: one of the bigger deals in 2016's arthouse scene, Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake, is receiving its U.S. theatrical release after winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier this year, and the guys stand ready to give it a closer look.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_89.mp3
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Wade and Kevin snap out of their post-Thanksgiving food lethargy to discuss two major films this week. First up is the latest offering from the wonderful world of Disney, Moana. Will this story about a Polynesian princess and a mischievous demigod prove to be as big a juggernaut as Disney's Frozen? The guys then turn their attention to what may be a major player come Oscars time:Loving, Jeff Nichols's film based on the true story of the couple who helped overturn the prohibition against interracial marriage in the American South.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_88.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

It’s been five years since Kate Middleton became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (aka Princess Kate) and caught the world’s eye for wearing, of all things, nylon stockings. Fashion gurus near and far were baffled that a young woman like Catherine would make pantyhose an outfit standard. Fashion wannabes wondered what would happen if they nonchalantly started wearing pantyhose—which would be a first for many Millennials who have never donned a pair. Here in the States, pantyhose fell out of fashion in the 80s, just when many corporate dress policies turned casual and women grew weary of multi-layering. For several decades, pantyhose were worn only by older women . . . or by female students at ultra-conservative Christian colleges with formal dress codes. But in recent years, pantyhose sales have been on the rise, with credit going at least in part to the royal style maven. (Perhaps we should credit Christian colleges with keeping pantyhose companies afloat since the 80s?) Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson have a light-hearted talk about the pantyhose trend as well as their own hosiery experiences, fashion preferences, and style troubles in this ounce of Persuasion fast chat.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_78.mp3
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The guys return to the magical world of J.K. Rowling as they review Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, searching for the elusive creature known as the Good Franchise Sequel. Do they succeed at catching one? They also spend some time on the latest awards-season film to receive critical buzz, Barry Jenkins's Moonlight, which focuses on the coming of age of a young gay man in Miami's inner city.

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Tyler and Drew chat with Daniel Motley about his recent article Proclaiming a Better Way: Christian Community After the Election. We discuss the divide in our country over the recent election and how we might strive to find common ground with those we disagree with politically as well as how we might speak the truth in love. We close out the podcast with some practical tips for Christians in terms of interacting charitably with their families over the holidays.  

Direct download: The_CaPC_Digest_Episode_68.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT

Thanksgiving is here. November is typically a month filled with the warmth of autumnal celebrations and everything pumpkin spice. But this year, there’s a palpable heaviness, an almost collective depression across our nation. Whether it’s from the roller-coaster election season or troubles brewing in our society, gratitude is hard to muster. Typically Thanksgiving is ushered in via those daily gratitude posts on social media, but even those seem to be in short supply this year. In this ounce of <em>Persuasion,</em> Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson peel apart the reason for Thanksgiving and the ways we can cultivate gratitude even in dark times. Hope is drawn from history, when Abraham Lincoln re-instituted Thanksgiving during the Civil War. Certainly those dark days made it difficult for U.S. citizens to have a happy Thanksgiving, yet Lincoln was wise to call our country to give thanks. Today, although we may not feel the warm fuzzies of Thanksgiving in our hearts, we have reason to practice the discipline as a sort of national liturgy. As difficult as it may be to feel gratitude, we are all in desperate need of Thanksgiving this year.

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In the aftermath of Election 2016, evangelicals are experiencing an identity crisis. Voting tallies show Donald Trump’s win was greatly swayed by white evangelicals. Some Christians are rejoicing over the outcome, but many are disillusioned. Frustration stems from the vast discrepancies many see between the gospel and the stances and policies that Trump has been so vocal about during the campaign. But if a large portion of Trump’s support flows from self-proclaimed evangelicals, those who do not support Trump are left wondering if the evangelical label is one worth claiming or clarifying. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson raise two taboo topics in polite conversation: politics and religion. But such discussions are necessary to sort out the evangelical identity crisis many Christians are dealing with after the election. What options do #NeverTrump Christians have? Some have quickly distanced themselves from the evangelical label. Others are debating its true definition and seeking to redefine it in more palatable terms. As much as we may desire to disown the evangelical identity, it represents a part of the Christian body, one in great need of discipleship and understanding. Although it would be easier to walk away, Christians cannot simply deny their roots. A better way forward is to help the U.S. Church through its identity crisis and mature as Christ’s Bride.

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Has the creepy clown scare reached your community? Reports of nefarious clowns supposedly luring children in the woods or simply staring at passersby has caused quite the uproar in our typically cozy pumpkin-spice season. So far, the greatest harm has been to our internal peace of mind. This clown scare has primed our fears, perhaps reminding us of classic horror movies such as “It” or “Poltergeist.” Is all this fear good for the soul? Some say a little bit of trepidation from movies and ghost stories never hurt anyone; others say its the gateway to evil and should be avoided at all costs. Are horror movies beneficial in our society in some way? In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Luke T. Harrington to weigh in on the dilemma. Harrington’s first book, Ophelia Alive (A Ghost Story), is a psychological thriller, making him our resident expert in all things scary. Discussion covers everything from celebrating Halloween to watching slasher movies, and Harrington explains how the horror genre, more than any other, deals directly and honestly with the spiritual realm. Such a realistic handling of good and evil allow these stories to raise real questions about the world and how we live in it. Harrington’s book is free for CAPC Members this month.

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Be honest: If you work from home, do you put on work clothes before logging hours in your home office? It’s likely that pajamas and loungewear are more common than business casual for the freelancers among us. And there are plenty of us out there: According to Forbes, we’ve entered the era of the nontraditional worker, with more 53 million claiming freelance status in the United States today. With so many freelancers working from home offices, coffee shops, and co-work spaces, dressing up for work has hit an all-time low. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson review an article from Fast Company by Stephanie Vozza, titled “What Happened When I Dressed up to Work from Home for a Week.” For one week, Vozza swapped her ultra casual work-from-home wear for business casual, and she recorded the impact it had on her work. The difference it made was remarkable. Vozza admitted to greater focus, energy, and work/life balance. All these benefits align with findings from several research studies, and raises the question of what we lose when we gain freedom from the mandates of a corporate dress code. It seems the link between body/mind/soul is strengthened in these findings; how we tend to and dress our physical selves has a tremendous influence on our mental and emotional states. It seems that how we dress our bodies signals our brains to prepare for the day ahead. What we wear can set us up for a productive day at work—even work in a nontraditional setting. 

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Wade and Kevin welcome guest critic Lauren Wilford onto the show this week as they tackle one of the most controversial films to come out this year: Nate Parker's <i>The Birth of a Nation</i>. The trio discuss the myriad complexities both of the film itself and of the checkered past of the filmmaker who created it. Then the guys delve into another work that explores issues of race in America (while also being a crowd-pleasing superhero story): the new Marvel/Netflix series <i>Luke Cage</i>.

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Drew and Tyler chat Abby Perry about her recent article, “This Is Us and the Dignity of Human Emotion.” We chat about NBC’s new drama “This Is Us” and its unique handling of human emotion. We chat the value of our emotions in relationship with our neighbor and with God. And we also talk about our emotions regarding our country’s presidential election.

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Wade and Kevin review a pair of films that use past events to comment on the present day. First up is Mick Jackson's <i>Denial</i>, about the court fight between a Hitler apologist (Timothy Spall), who denies the Holocause ever happened, and a professor (Rachel Weisz) who calls him out on it. Then the guys turn their attention to Keith Maitland's unusual animated documentary <i>Tower</i>, about the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas in Austin.

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Putting together a team of heroes to accomplish a missionóit's one of the most durable movie stories of all time, thanks to Akira Kurosawa's <i>Seven Samurai</i>. Kurosawa's classic has inspired countless other films, but one of the most memorable is also the film that directly adapted the samurai story as a Western: 1960's <i>The Magnificent Seven</i>. Wade and Kevin discuss the similarities and differences between the two films, then review Antoine Fuqua's new, Denzel Washington-starring <i>Magnificent Seven</i> remake.

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Drew and Tyler chat with Gina Dalfonso about her article, “Loving My Prodigal Country.” We chat about the Christian’s responsibility to country. We discuss how we can love our country without making it into an idol as well as the dangers of blind nationalism. We discuss these things in light of the recent protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and the contentious political season we find ourselves in.

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Hillary Clinton is a human. Hillary Clinton got pneumonia, and the whole world’s in an uproar. Reports of her illness flooded news outlets in an attempt to give meaning to this SHOCKING turn of events. Everyone is speculating why Clinton didn’t make her illness public, why she didn’t leave the campaign trail to rest, why she got dehydrated, and more. The reality is, human beings get sick. Clinton’s bout with pneumonia confirms what everyone already knows: When you push your body beyond its limits, sometimes it gets to weary to fight off illness. But we all push the limits anyway, don’t we? In our attempts to be, do, and have more, we ignore our limits and wreak havoc on ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss recent events that depict our tendency to idolize those who seem to be superhuman only to kick them when they fall. All this dovetails with Hannah’s upcoming book, Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nurtures Your Soul, which releases October 4 from Moody Publishers. Understanding our creaturehood is necessary if we are ever to know our limits and learn to live well within them.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_71.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

Drew and Tyler chat with Blain Grimes about comics and his recent article “New Super-Man Reinvents the Superhero Redemption Story.” We discuss Gene Luen Yang’s new run of Superman, his unique approach to the superhero story arch, and the value of diverse voices in media. 

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_Episode_63.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

We had an opportunity to snag an interview with Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone this week! Wade sits down with Stone to discuss his upcoming SNOWDEN and ask him about how his spiritual outlook affects his filmmaking. Then the guys offer their review of Clint Eastwood's SULLY, in which Tom Hanks lends his reassuring presence to the story of the airplane crisis that led to the "Miracle on the Hudson." 

When was the last time you did absolutely nothing? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe asks that question in his 2012 TEDx Talk that’s part of a new TED Radio Hour series at NPR, titled “Slow Down.” Puddicombe purports that our highly distracted and busy minds are no longer able to be present in the current moment. The cure, according to Puddicome? Ten minutes of nothingness a day. It’s a type of meditation in which you step back from your life—the buzz, the pressure—and simply look at what what your mind is preoccupied with and the feelings you are experiencing because of it. Puddicombe suggests that 10 minutes of such meditation will help you be less distracted and, as a result, happier. Is there any truth to this theory? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson offer 10 (plus) minutes of analysis on Puddicombe’s recommendation. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, discussion touches on the definition and suspicion of meditation as a spiritual practice, our need to exercise our brain’s recall functioning, and if doing nothing is truly the equivalent of Christian meditation.

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What is a woman’s place? That is the question spurring many a debate among  women and men, inside and outside the church. And the answers aren't easy to come by, because women face unique circumstances, opportunities, and responsibilities that refuse to adhere to a hard-and-fast rule. Tackling this complex issue is Katelyn Beaty, author of A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for your Calling in the Office, the Home and the World. Beaty is managing editor at Christianity Today magazine and cofounder of Her.meneutics, which have given her keen insight into the cultural debate about women and the role work plays in our lives. In this two-part episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson host Katelyn Beaty to discuss her book and what prompted her to write it. The conversation covers everything from the true definition of work to the proper way men and women are called to work together for the common good. Be sure to catch part one of the conversation, as it is the foundation and starting point for this conversation.

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It's a sibling-themed episode this week as Wade and Kevin review a pair of movies that have brothers and sisters at their center. In HELL OR HIGH WATER, two brothers turn to robbing banks and fleeing the law as they seek to scrounge the cash to pay off a mortgage in debt-ridden West Texas. In the gentle drama OUR LITTLE SISTER, three adult sisters discover that they have a half-sister from another of their father's marriages, and they offer to take her under their wings when he dies.

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Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

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What is a woman’s place? That is the question spurring many a debate among  women and men, inside and outside the church. And the answers aren't easy to come by, because women face unique circumstances, opportunities, and responsibilities that refuse to adhere to a hard-and-fast rule. Tackling this complex issue is Katelyn Beaty, author of A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for your Calling in the Office, the Home and the World. Beaty is managing editor at Christianity Today magazine and cofounder of Her.meneutics, which have given her keen insight into the cultural debate about women and the role work plays in our lives. In this two-part episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson host Katelyn Beaty to discuss her book and what prompted her to write it. The conversation covers everything from the true definition of work to the proper way men and women are called to work together for the common good. And be sure to catch part two of the conversation, when we move into specific difficulties women face work is in its proper place.

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Every two years we are overcome with Olympic fever, watching the best of the best from around the world competing for a coveted spot on the podium. But as we watch these athletes, chiseled with muscle and wrapped in grace, Olympic fever can easily morph until we become sick with envy. We bemoan our less-than trim physiques and underdeveloped talents. With each passing day, we wonder what could have been if we had lived by the Olympic motto of Faster, Higher, Stronger! In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss their Olympic viewing habits and the comparative thinking that seeps in to taint the enjoyment. But there is a way forward: With proper perspective, it’s possible to appreciate the beauty and strength of an Olympic athlete without feeling less than. It all comes back to resting in the truth that God has designed you to reflect His image in a unique way to the world. It may not happen on a medal podium, but knowing our place makes it easier to enjoy the space God’s given to others.

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Whether you know it or not, shame is in the house. It is the silent fiend that steals our peace and joy and prompts us to question our place in this world and in relation to everyone else. Despite its prevalence, few of us are free from shame and its debilitating, isolating ways. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite counselor and author Heather Davis Nelson to parse out how we can find freedom from shame and walk in the grace and love of Jesus. Nelson has drawn from her professional and personal experiences in combatting shame to craft her first book, published by Crossway, titled Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame. This episode explores the ways shame affects us in daily life, the role a safe community has in overcoming shame, and the ways shame’s negative influence can be defeated. Nelson’s book is a CAPC Member Offering for July.

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The CaPC 25 is back after a two week hiatus to fill the 19th slot on the ever growing list. This week find's Jesse Williams BET Awards speech pitted agains J.D. Vance's book Hillbilly Elegy, and Pokémon Go

Jesse Williams, a former public school teacher turned actor on ABC's Grey's Anatomy has been at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. Awarded the Humanitarian award at the 2016 BET Awards, his 4 min speech left those who watched it both in person and via streaming agape at the passion and delivery of his speech regarding the status of Black Lives Matter movement. 

JD Vance's book Hillbilly Elegy is juxtaposed against the Black Lives Matter movement with the white working class portrayed by J.D. Vance. The former Marine and Yale Law School graduate who is now an executive in Silicon Valley is a self-identified hillbilly who great up in poverty and the shadow of steel mills within Appalachian culture. Bringing much needed awareness of the diversity found within the "white" culture, Hannah brings this book to the table. 

Jonathan takes a back seat from hosting duties to bring Pokémon Go, the mobile game from Niantic and Nintendo that has taken the world by storm seemingly overnight. The ability to form community with random people around a common purpose almost instantly is the reason the game has been nominated.

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It's been fifteen years since Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant first brought THE OFFICE to British television and eleven since NBC adapted it into one of the most successful American sitcoms of the new millennium. Wade and Kevin take a trip down memory lane, discussing the merits of each version of the show and sharing their favorite moments from the world of dead-end paper companies. Then they take another look back, this time at the work of famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, whose death earlier this summer deprived international cinema of one of its brightest lights.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_68.mp3
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You’ve heard it said that polite conversation avoids religion and politics. But those aren’t the only subjects that produce awkward conversations. Many small talk topics are actually emotional landmines for tender hearts. Asking women if they have children or sharing about an exotic vacation or complaining about opportunities only available to the elite are just a few topics that can make people uncomfortable. Good conversation develops in being aware that our experiences may be quite different from others. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss sensitive subjects that arise in everyday conversation and how we can avoid those awkward lulls that can add insult to injury. Being aware that some topics are painful to discuss is the first step as we get to know others. It’s also important for sensitive hearts to extend grace when painful questions are asked or differences of opinion, opportunity, or lifestyle are discussed. Our ability to engage in meaningful conversation rests on a willingness to truly know others and the surprising way their lives unfold differently from our own.

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Wade and Kevin travel to the land of fantasy with Disney's BFG from director Steven Spielberg. The duo share their thoughts on the presentation of the live action and CG merged picture including the performances of newcomer Ruby Barnhill and Academy Award Winner Mark Rylance who partnered with Spielberg in Bridge of Spies. In the second segment, another film written by Melissa Mathieson, The Black Stallion, is given a retro review treatment. It is children's movie week on Seeing & Believing so grab the kids, some popcorn and settle in for a weekend of light hearted listening.

Direct download: Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_67.mp3
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Tyler and Drew chat with Rachel Horner Stark about her recent article, “Obama, Cosby, and America’s Black Family.” We discuss Obama’s policies and his family values. We discuss the example he has set as a husband and father and how that compares to the family values of current political candidates. We chat about the importance of recognizing truth and goodness in others when it is apparent as well as how we might promote gospel values when they are not shared or even contradicted in the political realm.

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Conferences provide attendees with all kinds of information on sessions, lodging, dining, and the like. But when Erin and Hannah attended a national women’s conference, they observed plenty that wasn’t detailed on the conference website. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson highlight a few of these curiosities and how they made sense of them. From standing in endless lines to phone use to wardrobe selections, this episode covers a different side of attending a conference with thousands of women.

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The guys take a trip back to the '90s with their look at the remarkable five-part documentary series from ESPN, O.J.: Made In America. Two decades since the trial of the century, is hindsight 20/20? Then they turn to address a movie that's slightly less serious, though no less scary: the Christianity-inflected horror movie The Conjuring 2.

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Tyler Burns is running the show with special guest Val Dunham as they talk about her article on Christ and Pop Culture, "Baylor's Need for a Lingering Repentance." The duo talk about the situation at Baylor University, the consequences that can arise from a male dominated sport that has been turned into an industry, and the moral conviction of Baylor that is sorely needed in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the school. 

Direct download: 55_CaPC_Digest_Episode_55.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 11:59am EDT

Special guest John Wilson from Books and Culture joins Jonathan, Sarah and returning guest Kevin McLenithan in the 17th episode of the season. The nominations for inclusion on the prestigious #25 include black comedy The Lobster, a republishing of three of Ross Macdonald's crime novels in Ross Macdonald: Three Novels of the Early 1960s, and the late fashion photographer and cultural observer Bill Cunningham. 

Direct download: The_25_Episode_17.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:11am EDT

After a week off, Wade and Kevin try to remember how to make a podcast as they dive into Pixar's latest, Finding Dore. Then they shift gears to review the new indie document Almost Holy, about a Ukrainian pastor whose passion for helping the poor and cleaning up the streets of his city goes to some very unusual places.

Direct download: Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_65.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:17am EDT

The CaPC 25 for 2016 is back after week off and it is possibly our best yet. Jonathan and Sarah are joined by special guests Amanda Martinez Beck and Kevin McLennithan to find out what will be added in the 17th slot for 2016. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the 30 something, man-bun sporting, baby seal eyed, musical force that is taking pop culture by storm and is the nomination of Amanda Martinez Beck. Known for 'Hamilton', the New York born musical prodigy is racking up accolades and has a near cult following amongst his most devoted fans, but is it enough to warrant inclusion on our year end list?

Anthony Bourdain is a celebrated chef, author, and television personality currently on CNN as the host of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. One of the earliest pioneers of making food a pop culture conversation and educating the masses of what is possible in the field of culinary experiences. He also exemplifies what Christians preach in his world travels by not being a snob and treats people with great affection and dignity from the street vendor to the 5 star chef. 

Love and Friendship is the final nomination in which we see Jane Austin's adapted to the silver screen. Kate Beckinsale plays the lead anti-hero and perfectly represents a departure from the prim and proper portrays we are used to seeing in Jane Austin works. The story of redemption is a powerful motivation but is it enough to gain entry onto the prestigious 25? 

Find out if Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Bourdain, or 'Love and Friendship' make it onto the 17th slot in The CaPC 25, Episode 16

Direct download: The_25_Episode_16.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

Have you noticed how easily we profess a hatred or fear of math? Common, everyday situations that call for basic calculations can cause us great anxiety—revealed in an outpouring of commentary such as, “I don’t do numbers” or “I’m not a math person.” We are quick to distance ourselves from anything math-related, and the consequences are growing.

In a Washington Post article by Valerie Strauss says much in the title alone: “Stop Telling Kids You’re Bad at Math. You Are Spreading Math Anxiety ‘Like a Virus’.” Strauss reports that consistently bemoaning our fear of math and numbers is affecting the next generation. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Wendy Alsup to discuss a better way forward.

As a math educator and fellow thinker, Alsup works directly with adult learners helping them to overcome their own fear of math that keeps them from understanding math in their jobs. Alsup shares with Persuasion listeners the glory of math as foundational to the created world and how God can be known using advanced mathematics. With this framework in place, we can embrace the beauty and value of numbers as people of faith and pass on to the next generation a wonder and love for math.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_61.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 5:53pm EDT

The two films on deck for the show this week couldn't be more different: Love And Friendship, a Jane Austen adaptation about a scheming widow in Georgian England; and Weiner, a documentary about a certain New York senator with an unfortunate last name. Political sex scandals or politely vicious drawing-room machinationsówhich one captures Wade and Kevin's fancy more?

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episdoe_64.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:25am EDT

Tyler and Drew chat with Amanda Martinez Beck about her recent article: Real God, Messy People: Christians and ABC’s ‘The Real O’Neals’. We chat about the church’s current uneasy relationship with LGBT people, the scandalous grace of God in the gospel, and the importance of listening to and learning from our neighbors.


Direct download: 55_CaPC_Digest_Episode_56.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

Chewbacca Mom roars back onto the nomination pile along with Disney's Zootopia. Both are looking for a shot at redemption after failing to clinch their spots on the The CaPC 25 for 2016. However both nominations will have to content with Muhammed Ali as the boxer's passing brings his immense popularity and influence both in sports and culture back to the forefront. Can Candace Payne go toes to toe with 'The Greatest' and the joke telling sloths of Zootopia?

Direct download: The_25_Episode_15.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:25am EDT

This week on Seeing and Believing, Wade is joined by Reel World Theology founder, Mikey Fissel. Since Kevin’s off saving the world from worldwide destruction (this isn’t what happened, but it sounds cool), Wade and Mikey chat about Bryan Singers’ new mutant extravaganza, X-Men: Apocalypse. Then, they follow this discussion with a few thoughts on a plethora our biggest directors and performers heading to explosive, superhero projects. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Hey, at least we’ll get to see the world almost end in all its cinematic brilliance.

Direct download: Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_63.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:44pm EDT

Drew is joined by David O. Taylor to talk about a dream at 3am that eventually lead to the meeting of Eugene Peterson and U2 frontman Bono for the purpose of discussing the Psalms.

The conversation follows the near decade long effort to have a connection between Bono and Eugene Peterson and the documentation of the meeting. The dialogue turns toward the ideas David acquired of redefining friendship and the emotional vulnerability that it requires. The idea of redefining friendship, acquaintances, and how we frame our digital relationships are all topics of discussion in this episode of the CaPC Digest.

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_Episode_55.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am EDT

Have you ever felt that you are judged by your language? Is it fair to judge others by their command of the English language? For those steeped in proper language usage, poor speech is almost painful to the ear. Mismatched subjects and verbs, dangling participles, incorrect word choice—all these prompt the most discerning to make judgments about the person’s intellect or ability. However, the way a person talks tells us much about his or her country of origin, background, education, and personality. Do we need to have such strict standards of speech as long as the messages we communicate are clear? And if the grammar police have their way, would that strip out the very distinctions that make us individuals? Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson tackle such questions in this ounce of Persuasion fast chat. Although it is tempting to judge people by their language, doing so isn’t without cost. Those who love language can ease their frustration by extending grace to others and holding loosely to proper speech that is always evolving.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_60.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

This week, Wade and Kevin take a look at the premiere of AMC's latest television show, Preacher, about an unconventional minister facing some weird, possibly End-Times-related events in his small Texas town. Things get even weirder with their review of The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos's oddball look at a society in which single people are faced with a choice: find a soul mate, or be transformed into an animal.

Direct download: 62_Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_62.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:06am EDT

This episode of the CaPC Digest finds the group defending the idea that politicians are people too. Staff writer Amanda Wortham joins host Drew Dixon to talk about the idea that underneath the rhetoric, the policies, and personas we see of our favorite (or hated) politicians, they are still created in the image of God and as such are worthy of dignity. How we talk about politicians, celebrities, and even Christian leaders within our families, friends and even our children reflect the attitude of our hearts. 

Direct download: 54_CaPC_Digest_Episode_54.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

Chewbacca Mom Candace Payne, the angst of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars Rebels: Season 2, and the return of The Babylon Bee are all vying for the 15th spot on the Christ and Pop Culture 25 for 2016. Jonathan and Sara are joined by Adam Bryant Marshal returning to the show along with our first Canadian ambassador Allison Barron as they debate the merits of "prophetical satire", the cultural relevance of Star Wars and the pure joy of a Texas mother who has catapulted to viral fame.


Direct download: The_25_Episode_14.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 12:13pm EDT

Being a good listener isn’t easy. Not only are they many messages and voices competing for our ears, but it is also a complex skill to master. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite InterVarsity Press author Adam S. McHugh (ThM, Princeton Theological Seminary) to share from his recent book, The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction (InterVarsity Press, 2015). As an ordained Presbyterian minister and spiritual director, McHugh has served at two Presbyterian churches, as a hospice chaplain, and as campus staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. His ministry has taught him what it means to truly listen in a noisy world. Listening changes our relationships with God and others, enabling us to settle down inside so we can practice humility by lending our ears to others. We must learn to listen—to God, others, our emotions, creation, and more—if we are to become the people God means us to be.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_59.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:39am EDT

Sunday Oldskool is hitting the pause button. Sam and Cray explain why the hiatus is necessary before giving thanks for everyone who has supported the show for over 90 episodes.

Direct download: Hiatus.mp3
Category:sundayoldskool -- posted at: 4:55pm EDT

One of Seeing & Believing's most anticipated films of the spring, Last Days In the Desert, has hit theaters, so Wade and Kevin do a deep dive into its knotty exploration of Jesus' human side and his struggle with Satan in the wilderness. They then fast-forward to a very '70s vision of the future as they take a look at Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise.

Direct download: Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_61.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

Tyler and Drew chat with E. Stephen Burnett about Spider-Man’s entrance into the wider Marvel Universe films and his previous films. We discuss Peter Parker’s story arc and spiritual battles throughout the first films with Toby Maguire and onto the current iteration in Captain America: Civil War with only a few light Jesus Jukes.

Direct download: 53_CaPC_Digest_Episode_53_1.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 10:38pm EDT

Vinland SagaStar Wars: The Force Awakens, and Captain America: Civil War are the nominees for the latest episode of The CaPC 25 for 2016. Brad Williams returns to please for the inclusion of the latest outing in a galaxy far, far away while Jonathan attempts to use the themes of fraternity and unity to nominate Civil War. Seth T. Hahne also makes his first appearance on the show with the first manga nomination with Vinland Saga.

Direct download: The_25_Episode_13.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

Communal living has gotten a makeover and young adults in big cities are catching the vision. Common, WeLive, Pure House and other startups have reshaped the traditional co-living concept and made it hip for young professionals.

In a New Yorker article titled “Happy Together,” Lizzie Widdicombe explains that in a typical setup, residents rent a private room but share bathroom, kitchen, and living room space with others on their floor. Modern conveniences, social activities, and posh interiors are a draw for residents looking for more than a roommate. The creativity of these startups in repackaging communal life for city dwellers is to be commended but it also raises questions. Are co-living residents merely avoiding adulthood by prolonging a college dorm lifestyle? Does communal living fill the familial void many have in our transient society? In this fast chat Ounce of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the pros and cons of the co-living movement.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_58.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 7:09pm EDT

The one and only Ray Neutron joins the show to discuss his work, which includes his stunning Snap The Track of Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly", human-centered photo-journalism at TYPICAL, and touring with artists like Lecrae, Dream Junkies, and John Givez. He also gives his thoughts on the art of the album cover, and why "a ratchet beat a day keeps the fake deep away".

Direct download: Hip_Hops_Visual_Side_with_Photographer_Ray_Neutron.mp3
Category:sundayoldskool -- posted at: 9:11am EDT

Christianity Today's Jessica Gibson joins Wade and Kevin for a review of one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year so far: Marvel's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. They discuss the film on its own merits, then consider what it represents for the superhero genre as a whole. Then Kevin sits down for an interview with Rodrigo Garcia, the writer and director of the acclaimed new film about Jesus' wilderness temptation, LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT.

Direct download: 60_Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_60.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

Sarah Kelly takes the center chair this week and hosts returning guests Karen Swallow Prior, Luke T. Harrington and Adam Bryant Marshall for this 12th episode of the CaPC 25 for 2016. Disney's The Jungle Book, the video game Dark Souls III, and James K.A. Smith's new book You Are What You Love are the nominations for this week and only one will make it onto the 13th spot for our year end list. 

Direct download: The_25_Episode_12.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:18pm EDT

For centuries, domestic life has been understood as a death knell for creative endeavors, forcing both men and women to choose between the two. If nothing else, the sheer work of maintaining hearth and home leaves little time for creative pursuits, all but proving Virginia Woolf's famous dictum that in order to write, one must have "money and a room of one's own." But must we really choose between cultivating our closest relationships and cultivating our gifting? Even more to the point, What do we lose when these parts of our lives are set in opposition to each other? Artist, educator, and mother Michelle Berg Radford joins CAPC staff writer Hannah Anderson to discuss the nexus of (and the conflict between) domestica and our other creative callings.  

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_57.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

The guys review Richard Linklater's Linklater-y look at college baseball players, Everybody Wants Some! They then return to their TV-recommendation corner, where they each try to sell their co-host on a TV show. Wade sings the praises of The People Vs. OJ Simpson, while Kevin makes a case for the HBO political satire Veep.

Direct download: 59_Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_59.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:58am EDT

Tyler and Drew chat with Val Dunham about her recent article “In the NFL Draft, Does Function Trump Value?” We talk about the ups and downs of the draft and discuss the ramifications of the very intimate and personal way we get to know prospects in the draft process. We chat about what that means for football going forward and how we as Christians should view professional athletes from a Christian perspective.

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_Episode_52.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 10:54am EDT

Beyonce for 2016, the HGTV show 'Fixer Upper', and the Cohen Brother's movie Hail Caesar are the nominees for this week's episode of The 25 for 2016. Seeing & Believing's Wade Bearden along with CaPC Staff Writer Danielle Mayfield join Sarah and Jonathan in a discussion covering a wide range of pop culture offerings for inclusion on The 25. 

Direct download: The_25_Episode_11.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 12:07am EDT

New designs have been announced for several bills in our nation’s paper currency lineup. Andrew Jackson, for example, is getting bumped from the front of the twenty-dollar bill to the back to make way for abolitionist Harriett Tubman. Tubman was slated to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten-dollar bill until the award-winning Hamilton show has produced many fans who are winning to fight for Hamilton to remain in that place of honor. (Too bad Jackson doesn’t have a Broadway show to his credit to.) Other bills are to feature women who led the suffrage movement and African Americans who led the civil rights movement. With these new faces, we gain new stories of our nation’s history by heroes who lived by and fought for the principles we most admire: courage, integrity, freedom, and the like. In this fast chat Ounce of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the currency announcement and the use of cash in this age, as well as the need to introduce U.S. citizens to those in our midst who have made life better for us over the years.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_56.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:57am EDT

Alissa Wilkinson and Robert Joustra join the guys this week to talk about their new book on the wave of apocalypses and dystopias in today's pop culture: How to Survive the Apocalypse. Then they chat about what makes for good films and how Christian films can improve.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_58.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:57am EDT

Tyler and Drew chat with David Roark about Hill Song’s influence on the church and modern corporate worship. We talk about how to balance artistic excellence with communal worship.

Direct download: 51_CaPC_Digest_Episode_51.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 9:50pm EDT