Christ and Pop Culture

It's an all-sequel edition of the show this week, as the guys take on two Thanksgiving-weekend releases that continue relatively new series. First up is the hotly anticipated Creed 2, which finds Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed squaring off against the son of the villainous Ivan Drago from the original Rocky franchise. Then Wade and Kevin take a look at the newest installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, J.K. Rowling's latest addition to the world of Harry Potter. What happens when the wizard Newt Scamander is drawn further into the international intrigue surrounding the schemes of evil wizard Grindelwald? And does this latest film match the magic of Rowling's best work?

Music interlude by Rue Royale, "Deck the Halls." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

Seeing & Believing celebrates Thanksgiving and Black Friday with a generous dose of grand larceny and psychopathic cowboys. The guys follow up last week's interview with director Steve McQueen with a review of McQueen's latest, Widows, starring Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, and a whole host of other stars. They also spend plenty of time with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a six-chapter anthology film from the Coen brothers, in their first partnership with Netflix. Enjoy!

Music interlude by Norden, "Bandage." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am EDT

In advance of next week's Thanksgiving feast, Seeing & Believing offers up an episode stuffed to overflowing with good stuff. First, Kevin sits down with director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) for a conversation about McQueen's newest film, the heist picture Widows. On top of that, the guys offer reviews of two films that have been making a splash lately: Paul Dano's directorial debut (and potential Oscar contender), Wildlife, a drama set in 1960s Montana; and the World War II monster flick Overlord, about supernatural Nazi experiments uncovered on the eve of the Normandy invasion.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_176.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 9:22am EDT

Our digital age allows us to handle a lot of life devoid of live, in-person conversation. Business can be handled remotely. Socializing can be done via social media. Shopping and meals can be ordered online. We simply don’t need to converse with each other face to face.

But for all the convenience we gain, what do we lose? In this episode of Persuasion,Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson wrap up their Talking about Talk series with a special LIVE recording at their Word+Craft Weekend at Leaf Institute in Greenville, South Carolina. Marking only the second time the hosts have been together in person, their discussion covers the pros and cons of face-to-face conversation. Is it important to pursue others in live discussion, or will digital conversations suffice? Do our digital interactions help or hinder our in-person relationships? Can we really know others well without knowing their body language or voice inflections? Is it possible for Erin and Hannah to talk to each other without the usual digital divide?!

Direct download: Persuasion_152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am EDT

Christmas came early this year for both cinephiles and blockbuster audiences! It's not every year that we get a new Orson Welles film, but Netflix brought us one this year in the form of the long-dormant The Other Side of the Wind. Wade and Kevin bring fellow critic Ryan Holt on the show to discuss whether this late addition to Welles's filmography is a worthwhile one. Then the guys turn their attention to Disney's latest attempt at cinematic magic, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. How well does this film adaptation of the story behind the much-beloved ballet succeed at crafting a brand-new adventure?

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EDT

Much of the church talk happening today is seen as negative by the watching world. Whether intentional or not, when people of faith talk about current issues, fear and anger are heard and observed. This is off-putting (to say the least) for those who do not know Jesus. Why would anyone be drawn to a faith whose adherents use the same vitriol as those they are opposing? Something is amiss when Christians are more passionate about winning that day’s internet squabble than they are about reaching the world with the glorious gospel.

In this episode of Persuasion,Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series with guest C. Christopher Smith. Chris is founding editor of Englewood Review of Books,co-author of Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus,and author of Reading for the Common Goodand the forthcoming How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church. Many years of leading and helping Christians have good conversations about difficult topics makes Chris a welcome addition to this series. The conversation addresses the ways our current church talk is devoid of power because it isn’t viewed as connecting the interdependent parts of one body. How can Christians grow in their conversational skill to relate matters of faith with grace and in truth? Is there hope for a new era that takes pleasure in the art of conversation? What changes must we embrace to see the church take on the role of healer in our relationships and in our society?

Direct download: Persuasion_151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am EDT