Christ and Pop Culture

Every evening, families across the nation face the drudgery of meal prep. The planners among us have a month’s worth of meals scheduled or a freezer full of ready-to-eat dishes. The rest of us do our best to choose a dish, gather up the ingredients, prep the elements, cook the meal, eat the meal, and then clean up. Meal planning and prep isn’t necessarily hard—it’s just so consistent. Every day it comes back to haunt and weighs on the mind. Savvy businesses have heard our weary cries and are responding with solutions. Meal kit delivery is soaring through companies like Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, and others. A subscription to one of these will get you a box of meals delivered to your door with a detailed recipe card and fresh, pre-measured and labeled ingredients. Another food trend that’s taken over Pinterest and social media is the Instant Pot. It’s a multi-use small appliance that transforms frozen food into a complete meal in like five minutes. Well, perhaps it’s not quite that fast, but users rave about its ability to eradicate meal time frenzy.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson dish on these latest food trends that are taking the drudgery out of meal prep. Pertinent to the conversation is assessing the gain/loss in preparing recipes devoid of family history or in meal prep that consists of tossing everything into a pot and pushing a button. Are we trading culture for convenience? Will we lose our sense of heritage when we are too weary to prepare family recipes that have been passed down for generations? These questions are worth considering, as food is a foundational component to our sense of self and to the community at large.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_87.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:48am EDT

Now that the Sundance Channel's series Rectify has wrapped up its fourth and final season, Wade and Kevin finally have a chance to discuss it. Does the story of Daniel Holden and his struggle to adjust to post-Death Row life come to a satisfying conclusion, and does the show as a whole live up to its status as the best Christian show on television, as some have called it? The guys then turn their attention to the latest film from Asghar Farhadi (and nominee for Best Foreign Film at this year's Oscars), The Salesman.

Music interlude by Bryan Himes, "Burn Down the Walls of Greed." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: 97_Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_97.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:39pm EDT

Wade and Kevin are back in the Batcave for their latest episode, where they tackle the latest incarnation of Batman on the silver screen. Will Arnett's tiny, plastic Caped Crusader first appeared in The Lego Movie; how does he do when he has a movie all to himself? The guys then turn to discussing the upcoming Academy Awards: what was overlooked? What will win? And when will Amy Adams ever catch a break?

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_96.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Episode_2.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s likely you’re also feeling guilty about it. Maybe it’s because we cannot will our bodies to behave as normal or how our absence will disrupt life for others. The guilt over being ill causes us additional stress as we try to determine how sick we must be to stay home from work or obligations. Is feeling run down a good enough excuse? Do we need to have a stuffy nose as well as a horrendous cough? It’s no easier to make such determinations for our children who may truly be sick but just as likely could be trying to avoid something at school. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson bemoan the challenges of dealing with bodies that need extra care and rest, usually at inopportune times. How do we know when to admit our frailties and stay home to recuperate? Why does our society praise people who push through and gut out an illness while scoffing at those who admit they are only human? If you have ever felt guilty about being sick, this episode is for you.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_86.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

Tyler and Drew bring two guests onto the cast both of which wrote articles about Martin Scorsese’s film Silence. We discuss the film’s depiction of faith and doubt, its handling of Japanese culture, and whether Christians should feel responsible to support a film that so explicitly deals with the subject of faith.

Direct download: The_CaPC_Digest_Episode_74.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_Season_2_Episode_1.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

The Danish have a way of living life called hygge (pronounced hoo-guh). If you’ve not heard of it yet, just wait—you’ll be inundated by it in 2017. The premise of hygge is to purposefully find cozy ways of enjoying life to elevate your sense of happiness and well-being. For those in Scandinavian countries, the cold weather dictates the mode of coziness. Some people speak of retreating after a long day with a favorite blanket, wool socks, and a warm cup of tea. It comes down to establishing a self-care ritual in a season (or world) that can be rather harsh. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the hygge trend as it relates to Erin’s book, Comfort Detox: Finding Freedom from Habits That Bind You, which releases February 7 from InterVarsity Press. Our pursuit of comfort in small things isn’t necessarily wrong, but the overindulgence can lead us to live within pampered cocoons, tucked safely into our comfort zones. Finding a balance between tending to your self and soul—perhaps through a hygge lifestyle—and pouring out your life for the benefit of others is a tricky one. Christians especially need to wrestle with the pursuit of pseudo comforts as a substitute for seeking true comfort in our Comforter God.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_85.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

Everyone has heard of the Pope, but what HBO's latest series presupposes is ... what if the Pope was young? Jude Law plays the eponymous pontiff in Paolo Sorrentino's <em>The Young Pope</em>, which examines everything from church politics to the nature of faith. Wade and Kevin also continue their series of catch-up reviews on this year's Oscar nominees with a look at the Natalie Portman-starring <em>Jackie</em>.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_Episode_95.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT

Tyler and Drew chat with Gina Dalfonzo about her recent article, “Gotta Dance: La La Land and Singing’ in the Rain Celebrate Calling and Creativity.” We discuss whether the film is as good as advertised and what it has to say about love, family, work, and creativity. We discuss the importance of work and how we can help one another engage it faithfully.

Direct download: 73_The_CaPC_Digest_Episode_73.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

“Did you ever knoooow that you’re my heeee--ro?” Since 1982, the likes of Lee Greenwood, Gladys Knight, and Bette Middler have crooned about the wind beneath our collective wings.

Whether we look to celebrities, saints, or superheroes, we’re longing for a vision of the human experience that is, well, more than human. This week, CAPC associate editor Sarah Kelly joins Hannah Anderson to parse the whys and wherefores of hero worship. We can’t help but be drawn to larger than life human beings, but what are the risks of looking up to heroes, even heroes of the faith? Or do the triumphs and quiet successes of others teach us something vital, something that can make our own lives less ordinary?

Sarah and Hannah tackle everything from Supreme Court Justices as superheroes to how the blogosphere can cultivate an unhealthy form of hero worship. They also reveal their own childhood heroes and Hannah confesses to holding out hope that she might yet become Nancy Drew when she grows up.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_84.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT