As May Day approaches, the Sectarian Review Podcast explores the classic pagan horror film, The Wicker Man. C. Derick Varn joins the show for a discussion about this fascinating and chilling religious horror film, pitting fundamentalist Christianity against a neo-Pagan cult off the coast of Britain. In this film, a stuffy, Christian, British cop gets called to a bizarre Pagan island off the coast to investigate the disappearance of a young girl and....blah blah blah....human sacrifice! What does this film say about religion? About secularism (is that just another form of religion?)? How does the movie connect with other Christopher Lee films, like The Devil Rides Out? A wonderful discussion of a truly great, truly disturbing film.
"The Various Versions of The Wicker Man"
"Christopher Lee Defeats the Devil"
Documentary about The Wicker Man
Recently President Donald Trump caused a minor stir by signing Bibles in Alabama. The reaction was swift and predictably driven by either outrage or defensiveness. In this episode Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Brake of Popular Culture and Theology to discuss the situation with some nuance. Some topics covered: what is so special about an autograph anyway? Is the bound book something sacred to be defaced in the first place? How much of this has to do with Donald Trump's moral character? If another, less odious president were to sign a Bible would the backlash have happened? All this and much much more.
"Trump's Bible signing called Southern Tradition"
"Most Christians find Trump Signing Bibles Inappropriate"
"Yes Trump Signed Bibles in Alabama But it isn't as Strange as You Think"
Danny Anderson welcomes back Matthew Brake from Pop Culture and Theology for another discussion. This time, we explore the ways in which comics offer occasions to theologize, or think about God. The conversation breaks down into three basic parts. First, what are some ways in which religion has been represented in popular comics? Second, how do comics address religious concepts or motifs through metaphor (i.e. Superman as Christ-figure). Finally, what are some primary theological concepts that are explored through comics? Along the way, look for discussions about Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Batman, the X-Men, eschatology and much much more.
Pop Culture and Theology
G. Willow Wilson
Frank Miller’s Holy Terror
Peter Enns’ Inspiration and Incarnation
X-Men God Loves Man Kills
A. David Lewis’s Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels
Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing
Grant Morrison’s Animal Man
Neil Gaiman’s View from the Cheap Seats
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come
Carl Schmitt Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty
Welcome to the 2018 Christian Humanist Radio Network Halloween Crossover! This year each of the shows in the network are examining a different film from the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. Josh Altmanshofer (of Before They Were Live) and Carter Stepper join Danny Anderson to discuss the classic film Shadow of a Doubt. The film features Joseph Cotton as a serial killer named Uncle Charlie who preys on rich widows. Uncle Charlie visits his disturbingly well-adjusted suburban family in California where his niece (and philosophical double), also named Charlie, discovers her uncle’s dark nature. Listen to a discussion about this movie’s take on nihilism, feminism, and law and order. And as with any Hitchcock film, mothers are a disturbing symbol as well, of course. Nietzsche, Batman, Thornton Wilder, Jesus, economics, phallic symbols, trains, cops, serial killers, and mothers all work their way into this fun and engaging discussion of one of Hitchcock’s most entertaining and fascinating films.
Wizards and clerics rejoice! This episode explores the wonders and possibilities of the classic role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. Joining Danny for this show is Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Will Thomas-Clapp, a Baptist minister who organizes a game for other pastors. In the days since the Satanic Panic, how has D&D made such inroads to Evangelicals? What role do “theater of imagination” games like D&D play in the world of massive online gaming? How have misogyny and racism threatened to destroy gaming communities? What can playing such games do for the imagination and interpretive strategies for preachers? All this and much much more in this very special episode of the podcast.
In this episode, Danny Anderson is joined by Rob Osborn to discuss a recent article in Comment by Rosalyn F.T. Murphy called “The Fellowship of the King: A Social Church for a Lonely World.” Murphy’s article, explores the growing problem of Loneliness, both in society and in the Church as well. Huge numbers of elderly and homeless people suffer from chronic loneliness with terrifying social and physical ramifications. But this problem affects people from all demographics as well. The article also explores the growing moving of “new monasticism” as a reaction against this social problem. Danny and Rob discuss the article and some of the ways in which the Church fails to provide community to people most in need of it. Also, how does our modern economy lead to alienation? Why Genesis 2 is about more than marital relationships. What is Danny’s plan for the Starbucks coming to his town? Plus, lots of listener feedback! All this and much more.
“The Fellowship of the King: A Social Church for a Lonely World”
The UK has a “Minister for Loneliness”
Hidden Brain Podcast: “Guys, We Have A Problem: How American Masculinity Creates Lonely Men”
Recovery Boys on Netflix
In this episode of the podcast, Danny is joined by Rob Osborn to discuss an essay called “Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker: A Scandal of Self” by Martyn Wendell Jones, which recently appeared in the Weekly Standard. By using the story of the Bakkers’ rise and fall, Jones introduces us a form of religious devotion called “Religious Enthusiasm.” Learn how the Bakkers’ PTL Club fits into a long tradition of Christianity which emphasizes personal experience over liturgy and theology. What does the Bakker story tell us about televangelism? How does the apocalyptic imagination of Jim Bakker’s new show help us trace a shift in Evangelical culture? Are there other ways in which “Religious Enthusiasm” lives on, unnoticed, today?
“Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker: A Scandal of Self” by Martyn Wendell Jones
Mount Aloysius College Teaching Conference info
James Isenhower of the Everything is OKpodcast joins Danny for a discussion about Christian culture’s reliance upon celebrity. What’s valuable and what’s pernicious about this practice? A quasi-sequel to our previous “Celebrity Liberalism” episode, we leave no stone (a few at the most) unturned in our exploration of Celebrity Culture’s invasion of the Christian imagination.
All about the Everything is OK podcast
Podcasting as “fluffing your own ego”
Potential problems with celebritism in xtianity
The poisonous effects of the American Dream and the elevation of the self
What kind of celebrities are we talking about?
Sports and Christianity (God wants Auburn to win)
Christian Persecution Complex
Zach Hoag on Celebrity Christianity
Celebritism in Lefty Christianity as well
Pastor as celebrity
HGTV’s Joanna Gaines and Celebrity as sign of God’s blessing
“Celebrity as an excuse to sanctify things that shouldn’t be sanctified”
Celebrity as ambassador to systemic injustice
“You want a country founded on Christianity”
Q: Are we not celebrities? A: We are podcasters!
Tony Hale as a better version of Christian celebrity
Celebrities in their cars making cell phone videos
Danny staying in the institutional church
Sharing Pharoah Dave Ramses stories (H/T Nathan Gilmour)
James destroys argument x on social media
When Celebrity Christianity Backfires
Calling Out Celebrity Christianity & Counterfeit Justice
Tony Hale talks about being a Christian in Hollywood
The Gathering Testimony: Joanna Gaines
Celebrity isn’t just harmless fun – it’s the smiling face of the corporate machine | George Monbiot
everything is ok
For the annual Sectarian Review “Banned Books Week” show, Danny is joined by Jay Eldred and Megan Von Bergen to discuss the Christian Impulse to boycott or ban. What drives people of faith to avoid businesses and works of art in adherence to the faith? Are there occasions when this impulse is appropriate? As always the Sectarian Review gang try to take a nuanced approach to such questions.
Teaching controversial material at Faith-Based institutions
Banning art versus boycotting companies
Trigger warnings and teaching Alan Moore
Moral Superiority and the motivation for avoiding art
Translating Calvin and Ovid at the same time
Pitching our Scandal of the Evangelical Mind episode
Evangelical separatism and Bob Jones
Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ
The Lion King
The Lego Movie
The gay Beauty and the Beast
Procter and Gamble (thanks Brett Chase!)
The trade-off between Christianity and capitalism
The poor, oppressed Christian’s best defense? Discretionary income
Avoidance of the uncomfortable
The wisdom of Milton
Danny sees your Milton and raises you a Matthew Arnold
What things are worth avoiding?
Why should Christians wrestle with Taxi Driver?
Josh “bringin’ the” Feuerstein rails against Starbucks
Paul and meat sacrificed to idols
Is there an institutional solution to this problem?
The role of unorganized fundamentalism.
Artistic Standards, doctrine, and Wonder Woman
Chris Gehrz’s The Pietist Option
Rod Dreher and idolization of the family
Cleaning the outside of a dirty cup
The Faith-Friendly Companies Christians Can ‘Buycott’ This Christmas | The Daily Signal
Some Dude Josh Feuerstein Goes Full Bonkers on CNN over Starbucks Cups
Christians Need to Stop Boycotting Stuff
Conservatives Urge Boycott of Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble Awarded $19.25 Million in Satanism Lawsuit
History of Comics Censorship, Part 1 | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Beauty and the Beast and Boycotts | Think Christian
'Last Temptation' Views Still Coming In : Boycott of 'E.T.' Among Religious Reactions
The Lego Movie: One of the most anti-Christian movies ever
Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy
Alex Jones as Bon Iver
The Pietist Option, by Chris Gehrz and Mark Pattie III
In the same vein of “least Christian” movie, but on the flip side, there’s this: (H/T Christian Feminist podcast, which posted this to their FB page): http://www.marilettesanchez.com/marilettesays//wonder-woman-might-be-the-most-accurate-on-screen-depiction-of-biblical-womanhood-and-heres-why
Danny is joined by Coyle Neal (of the City of Man Podcast) and C. Derick Varn (of every other podcast in the world) for a discussion about Mark Noll’s seminal book Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Rather than just discussing the book on its own terms though, the trio apply its analysis and conclusions to American Liberalism as well. The result is a sprawling, detail-rich episode, filled with plenty to consider as we think about the state of the American intellect in the Twenty-First Century.
Derick in Mormon-landia
CHRN back online
The listener contest concludes!
The Scandal, sacred and secular
Atheism tasting Protestanty
Jonathan Edwards as godfather
The Scottish Enlightenment
Cultural Panic and the Nashville Statement
Activism, Biblicism, Intuition, Populism
Evangelical College vs. Evangelical University
Patterns of Thought versus Participation in American Culture
Separation of church and state and “Religious Deregulation”
Political power over religion
The Joel Osteenification of Christianity
Applying Noll’s argument to the American Left and Right
Manichaeism in Evangelicals and Liberals
Ken Ham and “Thinking Correctly” through Intuition ugh
Religion’s importance for politics
Evangelicals and the Alt-Right
The Evangelical withdraw into their own media spaces
Urbanization and the Republic
Art rejecting didacticism
Can Democracy work?
City of Man on Marxism
Do Marxists accept original sin?
The problems of Enlightenment
Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
Nathan Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Steve Bruce, God is Dead: Secularization in the West
Danny once again welcomes Coyle Neal from the City of Man Podcast to discuss that wiggly, squishy, zany concept of “Authenticity.” Learn about Jonathan Edwards and his concept of authenticity and the use and abuse of external standards. Was Emerson “the great villain?” Can you be “spiritual but not religious?” What does Sheryl Sandberg actually believe? Have postmodernists rediscovered truth in the Age of Trump? Lionel Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity. Authenticity as performance. Is the House Church movement suffering from Authenticity overload? Coyle authentically begs listeners to write their prayers down. Authenticity that undermines art. Danny mangles Walter Benjamin. Stephen King’s writing advice and art. Danny can’t distinguish Foucault from Barthes. Donald Trump as the perfect embodiment of Authenticity. Obama versus Hillary: writer throw-down. What is the moral cost of insincerity? The fakeness of talk radio and the American media. All this and much more!
Obama Bests Clinton At Craft of Writing - The New York Sun
America’s First Postmodern President
This fake TED Talk about nothing might be the best you've ever seen
Sheryl Sandberg: The Importance of Authentic Communication - YouTube
Jonathan Edwards: Religious Affections
David Wells: The Courage to be Protestant
Neil Cole’s ChurchPlanting
Daniel Franklin: Politics and Film
Francis Schaeffer: The God Who is There
Of what use is the "Evangelical" label in the age of Donald Trump and the Christian leaders that John Fea terms "Court Evangelicals?" Does it still maintain a theological meaning or has it devolved into, as Danny says, "Theocratic Libertarianism?" Coyle Neal, from the City of Man podcast joins Danny for a historical, philosophical, and political discussion about contemporary Evangelicalism. Is there still room for the "1910 Evangelical?"
Also, at the beginning of this episode, Danny announces the first-ever Sectarian Review listener contest! Click here for details.
Links for Curious People:
Coyle Neal's Review of The American Patriot's Bible.
"Defining 'Evangelical' by Jonathan Merritt.
"What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?" by John Fea
Danny Anderson, Jordan Poss, and Jay Eldred discuss the complicated, sometimes appalling legacy of Jack Chick and his "Chick Tracts." What theological tradition do these comic books participate in? Where do they go off the rails? Is there anything laudable about Jack Chick's bleak theology? Special Treat: hang around for about the 1 hour 45 minute point to hear Danny's impromptu Alex Jones imitation!
Chick Tract Evangelism on YouTube
"The Imp" Chick Tract Parody
LA Magazine Retrospective
Jack Chick 'Official' Biography from Chick.Com
"The Wiles of the Devil" by Charles Fuller
"Meet Jack Chick," by Jimmy Akin https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/meet-jack-chick
"The Death Cookie" http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0074/0074_01.asp
"Dark Dungeons" https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp
"Somebody Loves Me" https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0006/0006_01.asp
MST3K style parody of "DD" https://www.fecundity.com/darkdung/darkdung.php?page=1
In addition, this episode introduces the first of an occasional new segment for the show: "Spider-Web Christianity" (provisional title). In these brief segments, we explore institutions that structure Christian Culture. What are the networks that drive Christian thought and conversation? To start us off, Danny talks about the publicity company Grace Hill Media.
Grace Hill Media website
"Disney Sells Faith Side of Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' with Whispers, Not Shouts"
"Secular Hollywood Quietly Courts the Faithful"
"The Secret Christian Message in This Weekend's Highly-Anticipated Horror Film"
In this episode of the Sectarian Review Podcast, Danny Anderson is joined by Peter Mommsen and Veery Huleatt for a discussion about the Bruderhof, an Anabaptist tradition with communities throughout the world. Learn about how this faith community lives out its ideals and rejects many of the spiritual trappings of Modernity. Work without hierarchy, common ownership, and communal worship. Also, how does this expression of the Christian faith compare with Rod Dreher's Benedict Option? A fascinating look into a fascinating faith.
Links for the deep thinkers among us:
The official Bruderhof website: www.bruderhof.com/en
Bruderhof Communities Podcast
Homage to a Broken Man, by Peter Mommsen
"What Does the Bruderhof Think of the Benedict Option?" by Peter Mommsen
C-Span video of panel discussion about The Benedict Option featuring Peter Mommsen
Join Danny and C. Derrick Varn for an *in-depth* discussion of the the 1967 Soviet horror film, Viy (based on the Gogol short story). Danny and Derek talk about the cultural significance of Cossacks in Russian history, the Soviet film industry, Ideology, and Eastern Christianity. The film is freely available on YouTube if you want to watch beforehand, but this episode will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Soviet movies where witches terrorize seminary students who don't believe in God.
Link to full film (subtitled)