Christ and Pop Culture

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

The book The Rainbow Comes and Goes, Christianity Today's new project The Local Church and the Instagram satire account Barbie Savior are all up for the 11th spot on the CaPC 25 for 2016. Special guests Erin Straza and Brian Gregory Thomas join host Jonathan Clauson to debate between the three nominees. 

Direct download: The_25_Episode_10.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

Farm to table eating is all the rage. Restaurants across the country willingly oblige with menus boasting of each dish’s organic produce and locally sourced ingredients. Diners select options that best align with the lifestyle and value system they’ve chosen. A recent report via NPR found the farm to table story being sold may not be much more than that—a story many restaurants concoct to appeal to their patrons increasingly complex standards for their food. The NPR article, “'Farm to Fable'? Tampa Probe Finds Many Restaurants Lie About Sourcing,” summarizes an investigation by Laura Reiley, the food critic for the Tampa Bay Times, who started digging into local restaurant claims of farm to table practices. Reiley found the many menus labeled farm to table are an impossible stretch of the term. Those eating standards diners strive to live by are in name only. In this Persuasion episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss how the farm to table movement has shaped our eating practices. Are we making food consumption too complicated? Is the organic standard a way of honoring our bodies or a merely sign of our privilege? These are the questions Erin and Hannah wrestle out as they share their own foodie tendencies, gardening practices, and concerns about the farm to table food obsession.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_55.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT

Tyler and Drew chat with S.D. Kelly about Drew Barrymore’s recent divorce after which she claimed, “We are still family.” We talked about the privilege with which celebrities talk about marriage and family. We also discuss the difficulty with defining marriage and family in a culture that lacks clear grounding on these things. 

Direct download: 50_CaPC_Digest_Episode_50.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 11:39am EDT

The topic of belief in cult movies is at the forefront of the guys' minds this week, as they tackle Jeff Nichols's highly anticipated Midnight Special, a sci-fi film about an unusual boy and the devotion he inspires. The cult in that film then leads Wade and Kevin to discuss the new Hulu series The Path, about a Scientology-like cult seeking to reinvent itself while maintaining its hold on its devotees. Tin foil hats may or may not be involved.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_57.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:55am EDT

Drew and Tyler host CaPC Digest 1st time guest Joy Beth Smith as the trio goes deeper into her article on The Bachelor is a fairy tale and how J.R.R. Tolkien would have loved the show, probably. a show she has watched as a guilty pleasure for the last decade.

J.R.R. Tolkien once made a defense of fairy tales that were criticized for being only for children, with nothing beneficial for more mature readers. One of the secondary beliefs that Tolkien cited, was the ability to suspend reality and by doing so show us something of our own world in a unique setting. To be able to tell a story that is ultimately believable but not necessarily set in the world we know.

Joy Beth submits that The Bachelor is a fairy tale labeled as reality TV. You have to believe that 20 women who are beautiful and between the ages of 21 and 30 are vying for the affection of a man. Horse rides, hot tubs, ocean swimming and other elements make people believe that all the women are madly in love with this “Prince Charming”.

Then how does The Bachelor as a fairy tale present itself for Christians to process? After mentioning Drew's older article on The Bachelor, the trio talks about the implications of the elements of the show such as sexuality. How does passion present itself in culture and within the church? How does the church hold that sexuality is something that should be denied until marriage and then suddenly "activated" for marriage?

This and more is all in this episode of the CaPC Digest.

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_Episode_49.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 11:18am EDT

The CaPC 25 for 2016 reaches the the 10th slot milestone as S.D. Kelly, Jonathan Clauson and special guest Drew Dyck debate between three different nominations to add to the list: The Brilliance's new holiday protest album Feel the Love, the British crime drama featuring an Anglican priest Grantchester and the technological marvel that is driverless cars.

Direct download: The_25_Episode_9.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 10:17am EDT

You’ve heard the 80/20 rule: supposedly 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. But is the 80/20 rule valid? For those who are the reliable go-getters, it feels true. The reliability of the 80/20 rule was explored recently by Yuki Noguchi in an NPR article titled “Before You Judge Lazy Workers, Consider They Might Serve A Purpose.” Noguchi reports that every system has people who contribute significantly less than others, and researchers looked to a colony of ants to test their theories. They found that 20% to 30% of ants simply don’t contribute to the community. However, the presence of the slacker ants actually made the group more resilient and effective because they could step in when an emergency hit. In this Persuasion episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider how the 80/20 rule applies both in work and in the church. Scripture affirms the value of each person—even those we perceive as less effective members of our group. Those of us who have more gumption must be cautious about the way we judge the effectiveness of the weaker members in our midst. In addition, God calls us to be faithful with the gifts He’s given us, so we must be sober in assessing where we lean toward laziness.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_54.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:04am EDT

Kevin Garcia joined the show to compare notes on ministry in the hood and songs about the hood, specifically Freddie Gibbs' "Forever and a Day" and Smoke DZA's "Morals". 

Direct download: Hood_Songs_witih_Kevin_Garcia.mp3
Category:sundayoldskool -- posted at: 11:22am EDT

At long last, Knight of Cups has gone into wider release. Wade and Kevin are joined by critic David Roark to discuss Terrence Malick's latest release, which has been more divisive than usual among audiences. Malick's ability to create an evocative sense of place in his films also inspire the guys to consider which films best represent their home regions: southwest Texas for Wade and the Chicago area for Kevin.

Music interlude by Wojciech Kilar, "Exodus," from the Knight of Cups original motion picture soundtrack.

Direct download: Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_56.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

The CaPC 25 for 2016 continues to build its list of the "best of the best" of pop culture for 2016. Sarah Kelly, Tyler Burns and Luke T. Harrington join Jonathan as they debate between three different nominations to add to the list: Netflix, the documentary The Art of Organized Noize and the book Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe v Wade.

Direct download: The_25_Episode_8.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

Ten years ago, we were introduced to “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia,”  the travelogue memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert that became the rally cry for women. Endorsed by Oprah and selling 10 million copies, the message Gilbert packaged sent many women on the hunt for a better life. The crux of that message? Shake off whatever shackles bind you and go find yourself by savoring great food, grounding your soul in meditative practices, and securing the love you’ve always wanted. Many women felt empowered to take ownership of their lives and made “Eat, Pray, Love” their guidebook for life. The readers themselves now have their say in a follow-up book releasing this week, titled “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It.” In this Persuasion episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson address the tension between assuming rightful agency of our lives and pursuing egocentric dreams of self-actualization. Ultimately, “Eat, Pray, Love” offers answers to the questions of purpose and identity rattling within every human heart. The answers the Gospel offers are greater, of course, and with the resurgence of “Eat, Pray, Love,” we will have opportunity in the days ahead to share the beauty of those answers with others.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_53.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:09am EDT

Against our better judgement, we break down some Action Bronson from a Christian perspective on this week's show. Bronson is a charming but vulgar rapper, recently getting booted from a university concert due to his offensive lyrics. But while there are serious reservations over his content (some of which we share), we find some edifying moments in a couple tracks. Bronson reveals some cracks in his over-the-top style in "Actin' Crazy" and "A Light in the Addict", nodding to his insecurities and mental anguish in a way that challenges our perspective of other indulgent and/or obnoxious people in our lives.

Direct download: 89_Sunday_Oldskool_89__Action_Bronson.mp3
Category:sundayoldskool -- posted at: 9:49am EDT

It's DC V. Marvel this week with lots of glaring and growling in the rain, as the guys take on two of the darkest pieces of superhero-based entertainment to come out in a while. First they explore whether Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice deserves the critical drubbing it's been getting; then they turn to the continuation of the Passion of Matt Murdock with their review of Daredevil Season 2.

Direct download: Seeing_And_Believing_Episode_55.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:16am EDT