So, this is our thanksgiving episode. We give thanks, and talk about gratitude and all that. But it turns into a show about a kind of complicated sincerity and gratitude .We think about thanking those that we might even resent, and ultimately end the show thanking you. Some by name. A fulfilling show that took a lot out of us. We hope you get something out of it. And hey, thanks for listening. And Happy Day before Christmas season "officially" begins.
How did it take us so long to do this show? Was it too obvious? While Star Wars has made its way into a number of our shows, we never devoted a show to talking about it. This came on the heels of Dan giving a talk after a showing of Return of the Jedi and a number of people suggesting that the Jedi were perhaps as bad as the sith (did we lose you here?) As we approach the launch of episode VII (for which, we and our boys will be in line and have already bought tickets for the first showing the night before the release) we decided to talk about the movie series with a ViW twist. We explore Joseph Campbell's "monomyth" and why the series has captivated kids (Jeff thinking he was a Jedi as a young boy) and adults (Dan not getting into the series until his 30's).
Dan makes the argument that it is the most significant film/popular culture franchise of all time and WHY this is the case. Is it just "good versus evil"? Is it Hokey religions and/or a good blaster? Listen in, it's a show we could have done years ago, you get it NOW! (Click HERE for a direct download)
What happens when cultural prophets get things right? What about when they get things wrong? Can they ever win?
Are you a Chicken Little, always shouting about impending doom? Are you an ostrich with your head in the sand, not attending to the threats on the horizon? What kind of bird are you? This week, Dan and Jeff reset after several shows about societal collapse and discuss various aspects--all in free-form--of the phenomenon of being right but not having any satisfaction once vindicated. We mess about but have some fun.
To download the show directly, click here.
This week we started a new tradition: interviewing guests while watching their favorite team play in a championship game on a muted computer. Every two weeks from now on we will have to find some kind of championship, or otherwise season altering game and find an educated and entertaining guest who also happens to be a fan of that team....
Ok. We probably won't do that. BUT, when a show turns out this good, it makes us pretty confident it's the situation and not us.
Our guest is a rabid Kansas City Royals fan, Dr Dan Siedell an Art historian, curator, critic, author and overall rad guy (check out his website HERE). He teaches at the Kings College in New York and Knox Seminary in Florida. He was in town speaking at local universities (including our own Concordia, Irvine) and sat down with us to take about the state of modern and post modern art. Does listening to three gentlemen discuss art criticism while watching a muted world Series game not sound interesting? Who cares! Dr. Siedell is great (check out his most recent book HERE), we get down to "practical" issues regarding the everyday and the "consumption" of art as well as issues pertaining to faith. Listen up, early listeners have praised this show as a favorite and we agree. Enjoy the show!
You can get it on iTunes, Stitcher or download it HERE
Well, it was going to be one show. And then two, and then it stretched into 4. But you don't have to listen to them sequentially. We intentionally make them all stand alone- but the basic idea is: things suck. But, be of good cheer, they have always sucked! And in the midst of this, there are some rad things and some ways about thinking about goodness, truth, and beauty in the midst of it all. On today's episode we brought in Dr. Dan Deen (PhD, Florida State University) Philosopher of Science and we talk about stuff. Heavy stuff. Stuff that will make you weep for our dumb generation. And, more importantly, courageous ways of thinking through the darkness. Enjoy the show!
In the late 19th c. French symbolist Paul Gauguin studied theology before he left for Tahiti to paint his famous "primitive" series. IN his studies he was asked by his instructor questions pertaining to the meaning of life. In 1897 Gauguin used these questions to title his famous "Where Did We Come From? Where Are We Going?" (see above). In this, the third installment of our discussion of "the history of the Fall" we ask these questions as they pertain to us today, as heirs of the western tradition that has been both spiritually and culturally vibrant as well as barren. We told you when we started this series that things would get dark, and we find more darkness today, but be of good cheer, fellow travelers, everything is going to be ok. You will find below the two clips we referenced- the Back to the Future parody contains a few words usually frowned upon in polite society (so don't blare it at work or with the young ones around).
So, lately our shows have been kind of a bummer for some people. Sorry.
When we aren't in complete bummed out mode (and we're not, we are just taking this Fall to scratch an itch we all have) we like to be in "somewhat confused" mode. We tend to deal in history, religion, and ethics, etc... and we are surprised just how little consensus we can get on certain topics. But what about the simple things we do, like, eating. Surely there is no great problem here. Hasn't nutrition been figured out by scientists by now?
On today's show we see in the realm of health and nutrition a convergence of both moral and intellectual confusion. Can we get better? Can we even know what it is to be healthy? Should I take supplements? Who can I trust when it comes to my health?
We have Dr. Terry Olson a PhD in exercise and sport science (think physiology, nutrition, how our bodies work) to talk with us because a) he's an actual expert and this is his primary field and b) he's a super rad guy. One listener tweeted (almost instantly after the show had been dropped):
Thanks! At any rate, enjoy the show.
Well, you seemed to like the first part of this series. It isn't cheery, but we think it is important. We pick up on the general decadence of society and the creation of the wasteland from the Renaissance through WWI. We will be dropping each of the 4 part series on the first Monday through the end of the year. We won't wallow in the decadence and violence, but rather see what we have become and fearlessly dissect it. Of course, we won't leave you without hope. Darkness comes before the dawn, and we will remind you that ultimately, everything is going to be ok.
What is it to be a dad? According to Dr. Scott Keith ( a 1517 thinking fellow, Associate Dean of Students at Concordia University Irvine, Adjunct Prof. at Concordia, and author of a forthcoming book entitled On Being Dad: Father as a Picture of God's Grace) good dads avoid permissiveness but ground the family in a gracious, forgiving ethos. This is a great conversation that we think truly matters. Keith lost his father at age 2, found important father figures in his life, and has raised three children. Don't miss this one.
Listen up and discover that fatherlessness is a social epidemic, but that reclaiming fatherhood can change a person's life.
You can pre-order his book from NRP Books, which will become available on October 10.
Direct download by clicking here.
Transhumanism is the attempt to use technology to transcend human aging, cultivate human super-intelligence, and ensure human super-wellbeing. Sometimes simply called H+, this movement holds out hope for a purely secular eschatology. It is fraught with ethical and theological considerations. To better understand these issues, we brought back Dr. Oesch, who is the director of Concordia University, Irvine's MA Theology program, an Associate Professor of Theology, and creator of Fishing For Leviathan, which currently is in the midst of a three part series on transhumanism. He's got great insights into the movement, and argues that this is no frivolous conversation, but important for thoughtful folks to address, as we seek virtue in an increasingly complex age.
If you are not yet convinced that this is a lively movement, check out the video below, explore the work of Ray Kurtzweil, or check out what Aubrey De Gray is advocating. As we teach young people, we are finding that H+ represents a real alternative to the problem of death for our students. Come join our lively expedition through the world where some believe we might be able to upload our consciousness onto a digital platform and create something like eternal life sans religion.
Click here for a direct download.