Christ and Pop Culture (the25)

Jonathan and crew are back to finish ranking the list of the Top 25 pop culture artifacts from 2018. Joining him is KB Hoyle, Kathryn Freeman, Tyler Burns, Luke T. Harrington, and Tyler Glodjo to mold the list of random entries from 1 to 25. There are passionate pleas to keep Mr. Rodgers down, the Royal wedding on top, and Luke's desire to cancel the list and join Thoreau in the wilderness. Listen as we threaten, cajole, and plead for our personal picks and shape the list for Christ and Pop Culture's Top 25 for 2018.

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Jonathan is back, along with special guests .... to sit down for a marathon recording session to finalize the CaPC 25 for 2018. The pop culture events, people, movies, TV shows, albums, and more that defined 2018 in ways that reflected the good, the true, and the beautiful are molded into near final form in this two part extravaganza!

For Part 1, the panel sorts through the nominations from our staff writers to decide which entries will make the Top 25. Wild cards are brought in, nominations that didn't receive enough backing to make it on the list are considered, and the unthinkable happens when Jonathan attempts to remove Kendrick Lamar from the list!

Then in Part 2, which will air later this week, the same crew will go to the mat to rank the 25 entries and crown the most influential artifacts in 2018, from 25 to 1.

Direct download: The_CapC_25_2018_Part_1.mp3
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The Christ and Pop Culture Top 25 for 2017 list and ranking debate comes to an end with the second part of the show. Jonathan and crew return to rank the completed list in order from 25 to 1 in order of what they believe to be the best reflections of the good, the true, and the beautiful in pop culture.

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Part_2.mp3
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Jonathan is back, along with special guests Erin Straza, Luke T. Harrington, Tyler Burns, and newcomer Kaitlyn Schuss sit down for a marathon recording session to finalize the CaPC 25 for 2017. The pop culture events, people, movies, TV shows, albums, and more that defined 2017 in ways that reflected the good, the true, and the beautiful are molded into near final form in this two part extravaganza!

In Part 1, the panel has napped, been caffeinated, and then takes the list of nominations from our writer's group and decides amongst themselves which of the nominations are indeed deserving of inclusion. Wild cards will be brought in, nominations that didn't receive enough backing to make it onto the list are considered, and a the unthinkable happens when Jonathan attempts to remove Kendrick Lamar from the list!

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Part_1.mp3
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Superheroes, rap, and cultural seclusion go head to head in this episode of the CaPC 25 for 2017. Jonathan is back with special guests Erin Straza, Brad Vermurlen, and Andrew Whitworth to nominate WonderWoman, Kendrick Lamar's DAMN., and The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher.

Returning to the CaPC 25 from 2016 is Andrew Whitworth bringing the latest effort from rap artist Kendrick Lamar whose album To Pimp A Butterfly made it to #1 on The CaPC 25 from 2016. While lacking some of the redemptive themes from that album, the effort is strong in both production, lyrical content, and personal meaning that characterizes Lamar's work.

Wonder Woman, nominated by Erin Straza, brings the first super hero movie nomination to the list for 2017. Directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster), the movie showcases a woman in the lead as both a human being, a woman, and a force to be reckoned with who can lead simply because she can. 

Rounding out the list is Rod Dreher's controversial book, The Benedict Option brought by Brad Vermurlen. The book harkens back to the ancient monk Benedict who taught seclusion from the world and its vices in the name of purity. Is this the option that the protestant church now must now discuss in the light of the pluralism now found in the land of the free? 

One of these nominations will make it on the list by the end of the show, but which one? Listen and find out!

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Episode_12.mp3
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After a brief hiatus, Jonathan is back with a some familiar guests and familiar nominations. Tyler Burns, Luke T. Harrington, and Adam Bryant Marshall are on deck this week to bring 2 old nominees back with 1 fresh addition to the list going up against the underdogs. 

The Nintendo Switch is back with vengeance this week, once again championed by Luke with the key difference now being that Luke has one in his possession. 

Adam brings back the album A Crow Looked at Me from Mount Eerie hoping to succeed in putting this introspective album on the list. 

Tyler Burns shakes things up with a new nomination from author Colson Whitehead. The sixth album from the writer is entitled Underground Railroad but rather than tell a story about slaves escaping from the deep south through hidden basements, this novel is a work of fiction where there is an actual hidden railroad with box cars and tracks. 

One of these three nominees will make it onto The CaPC 25 for 2017. Which one will it be?

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This week's episode of The CaPC 25 for 2017 finds our managing editor Erin Straza pitted against Luke T. Harrington and newcomer for 2017, Mathew Loftus. Luke T. Harrington brings one of the most passionate and articulate orations in the history of the show for the Nintendo Switch console...which he neither owns nor has played. Meanwhile Mathew Loftus bring Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' to the table as the Christian film we didn't know we needed while Erin Straza tries to convince everyone that the S-Town podcast gives us an important and essential look into the human condition. 

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McDonald's Grand Mac, U2's 'The Joshua Tree', and Khalid's 'American Teen' are up for the 6th spot on the CaPC 25 for 2017. Special guests Skye Jethani, Drew Dyck, and Richard Clark join Jonathan for one of the most disorganized, non-political, and rule breaking episodes yet in the history of the show. 

Each week Jonathan and three guests nominate three cultural artifacts from 2017 for inclusion on our year end list, but only one can be added by the end of the show. Nominations and debates (and sometimes hilarity) ensue as everyone must come to an agreement about what best reflects the good, the true, and beautiful in pop culture. 

Direct download: The_CaPC_25_for_2017_Episode_6.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

Dark horror comedy, culture gardening tips, and instrumental music are up for the fifth slot on the CaPC 25 for 2017. Special guests Gina Dalfonzo, Tyler Burns, and Jason Morehead join Jonathan for a lively debate.

Up for nomination this week is the Jordan Peele directed film Get Out, the new instrumental album from Grails called Chalice Hymnal, and the book Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura.

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Sarah Kelley returns along with Erin, Hannah and Val to add to the new list for the year. 

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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.

Direct download: The_25_Episode_18.mp3
Category:the25 -- posted at: 12:55pm 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

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
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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?

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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.


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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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This week Jonathan is joined by special guests E. Stephen Burnett, Morgan Lee and Tyler Glodjo for the 7th episode of The 25. The nominations for inclusion this week are Batman Vs. Superman Dawn of JusticeZootopia and The Golden State Warriors. 

The Golden State Warriors with Stephen Curry have risen to a level of prominence that has transcended the sports crowd and pop culture. The 3 point shot is the perfect Vine moment on social media, Stephen Curry's indomitable spirit and encroachment of the 72-10 season record currently held by the 95-96 Chicago Bulls. People across the country are staying up late just to watch this team that plays as a team and it is for this reason, Morgan thinks the team deserves a spot on the 2016 The 25. 

E. Stephen Burnett brings the film, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Rather than advocate for a Marvel Vs. DC posture, Stephan highlights the enjoyment he had with the film despite the negative critical reaction. Taking the film on its own merits, does it tell a convincing story and does it tackle the question of the purpose of evil? 

Rounding out the table discussion is Tyler Glodjo's nomination of Disney's Zootopia. A 3D animation film of anthropomorphic animals, the story presents the consequences of stereotypes and prejudices in the family friendly environment of a country bunny who comes to the big city to be the best police...bunny she can be. Underneath the fur of the movie is the basis for great conversations for viewers who are willing. 

Three nominations, and only one can be added to the list. Which one will be added? You will have to listen to find out. 

Direct download: The_25_Episode_7.mp3
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Jonathan flies solo this week with special guests Brad Williams and Kevin McLenithan for the 6th episode of The 25.

Up for nomination for the 7th spot on the 2016 Top 25 list is the small indie film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the TV show Better Caul Saul and Making a Murderer.

One of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood and arguably the most anticipated movie release in 2015, Brad Williams argues the social reflection of Rey and Fin and BB8 as merits for inclusion on the 25.

Kevin bring Better Caul Saul, Season 2 for it ability to make us look at characters that are not cut and dry good/evil. The ending is already known to anyone who has watched Breaking Bad and the journey we watch Jimmy McGill take to the persona of Saul Goodman is an exercise in spiritual discernment. 

Jonathan argues for Making a Murder and the rage it instills in its viewers for the flaws in the US criminal justice system as well as the human cost it instilled on the various victims portrayed.

Which of these 3 nominees will make it onto The 25 for 2016?  

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Jonathan and Sarah are reunited as the host special guests Karen Swallow Prior and Ekemini Uwan on the 5th episodes of The 25.

Up for nomination for the 6th spot on the 2016 Top 25 list are HBO's John Oliver, the new Christian satire news site 'The Babylon Bee' and FX's TV show The People Vs. OJ Simpson.

Satire is important as it teaches us to laugh at ourselves and take a different approach in how we reflect upon our culture both politically and spiritually which John Oliver and Babylon Bee reflect. 

The new show from FX, The People Vs. OJ Simpson gives us a dramatic retelling of the events nearly 20 years ago that led to one of the most important cultural touch stones for racism, flawed and corrupt judicial process and the harbinger for reality TV in entertainment.

Which of these 3 nominees will make it onto The 25 for 2016?  

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Kanye West returns to the floor as Cray Allred bring the controversial rapper back to the forefront as a nomination for the 2016 Top 25 list. Drew Dixon brings another video game, 'Darkest Dungeon' to the discussion citing the empathy and respect for humanity the game brings to the player. Richard Clark brings ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat for its ability to subvert the stereotype of Asian Americans while relating to the desire for belonging to a community. 

What will make it onto the 5th spot on the CaPC The25? Digital brothels, twitter trolling and a guest death match between Richard and Jonathan are all contained within. 


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The CaPC team continues to build the Top 25 list of the good, beautiful and truthful found in pop culture for 2016. This week 3 nominations are vying for the #4 spot. 

CaPC Managing Editor Tyler Glodjo nominates PC/PS4 Indie game 'The Witness' from developer Jonathan Blow. On an island of nothing but puzzles and random audio recordings of quotes by philosophers, religious leaders and scientists there is a search for truth on the island. How does this truth relate to the Christian faith and what does it teach us about our own journey for truth in the Scriptures?

Special Guest, Senior Staff Writer for Granite, Tyler Huckabee bring the latest "gospel" album from Kanye West, 'The Life of Pablo.' Even though Kanye is a polarizing figure and the content on the latest album can be described as inappropriate, there is a naked emotion to Kanye West that comes through in this album. Combined with appearances from Kirk Franklin and other elements that show Kanye as a broken man searching for God, Tyler H makes the case that the album is worthy of a spot on the list. 

Host of the 25, Jonathan Clauson bring another video game to the show, 'Firewatch'. This page-turner thriller set in the 1980's pacific northwest mountains is a story of isolation, paranoia and more importantly a mirror for which the player can see themselves through a pre-defined character.

Which of these three nominations make it onto The 25? 

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Christ and Pop Culture offers you #The25, a weekly debate between staff and guests on the most important events in pop culture this week. Many things are nominated, but only one is added to the #The25 at the end of the episode.

In our second episode Sarah Kelley, Tyler Burns and Matthew Loftus bring singer-songwriter Andy Gullahorn to the table along with The X-Files Season 10 and director Nate Parker. Which one will make it on The 25? Listen and find out!

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