Going Beyond New Releases: Appreciating Culture as Tradition, Part 2

If you haven't already, read part 1 here.Aside from consumer culture, society's increasing dependence on and trust in technology has contributed to the belief that what is newer is always better and more worth our time. Technology has always had an affect on how works are made and what gets made, but the rapid changes in technology that we have seen in the last 30 or so years have had a more dramatic effect and have given rise to the belief that cultural artifacts can become obsolete, just … [Read more...]

Beyond New Releases: Appreciating Culture as Tradition, Part 1

A few years ago, when I taught Freshman Composition at a community college, I went searching for information online about WWI. My students were reading The Great Gatsby and I felt that they would benefit from understanding the horrors of trench warfare as part of the context of the novel. The first result that Google gave me when I searched for "WWI" was a spelling correction: "Did you mean 'WWII'"?I thought it a striking sign of our culture's knowledge about World War One that when I went to … [Read more...]

Podcast #49: Terminator, Twitter, and Meaningless Fun

This Week: Here are some questions: Is it possible someone actually likes Terminator Salvation? Is there a spiritual benefit to watching "dark" films? Is Twittering in church really a good idea? Should we feel guilty about having fun? These questions have one thing in common: we try to answer them! If that doesn't make you want to listen, how about our Top 5 Worst Ideas for a Twitter Update?Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ … [Read more...]

Sticks and Stones, Redux: A Review of a Review of a Review

Editor's Note: A while back, guest writer Seth T. Hahne wrote an article in which he spoke of the difficulty encountered when he read a disappointing review of Coraline and saw that the writer of Coraline had seen said review. The author of the review took issue with the article, and asked that we give him an opportunity to submit an article in response. Below is that article, written by Michael Karounos, completely unedited or tampered with.This article is prompted by Seth T. Hahne's … [Read more...]

Why "Up" is the New Down

Editor's Note: You will most likely not want to read this until you've seen the film. You have seen the film... right?The introduction to Pixar's newest film, "Up," is utterly shocking. While some of us went in expecting something "cute," wanting to be distracted from the typical trials of everyday life, and perhaps wanting our sons and daughters to be shielded from them, others of us went in expecting to have to make an extra effort to suspend our disbelief, with the understanding that this … [Read more...]

Terminator Salvation and Human Worth

Expectations have a lot to do with reactions.  If you take a bite of ice cream and it tastes like steak, you will be a little grossed out even if you really like steak.I think that’s why there is such a wide range of opinion regarding the new Terminator: Salvation movie.  People have a wide range of expectations, and how well the movie meets those expectations determines what they think of it.Here’s what the movie is not:  It’s not The Dark Knight, it’s not a meditation on time travel, it’s n … [Read more...]

Star Trek Gets Real

Before I say anything else I must make this clear: Star Trek, much like Transformers, is not about the plot. The plot is good, but that's not the point. This movie is about the characters, and the plot seems to be nothing more than a means to develop them (which is convenient, because it gives me the chance to review the film without spoiling anything [Ed: Nonetheless, those of you who want to go into Star Trek with a completely clean slate should probably refrain from continuing this article … [Read more...]

Angels & Demons: Anti-Christian? Not really. Antimatter? Oh, yes.

This week, I both read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons and saw Ron Howard’s film adaptation of the novel. Christian viewers and readers will be pleased to know that Angels & Demons, unlike The Da Vinci Code, makes no preposterous claims about the church’s conspiratorial process of canonizing the gospels to hide the “fact” that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene. As the Vatican has already declared, Angels & Demons is “harmless” in its theological assertions—which is to say, it doesn’t … [Read more...]

Podcast #46: Ben and Rich are the Kids of Summer

This Week: Rich and Ben kick off the summer by introducing CaPC's Summer of Pop-Culture, answering some listener mail, discussing the nature of summer blockbusters, and listing our top 5 favorite and least favorite summer movies. If you like hype, you'll love this! If you hate hype, you'll love this!Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, and give a … [Read more...]

Star Trek: Spock's New Cultural Relevance

I saw my second-ever Star Trek movie this weekend. (The first I saw, 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, ensured that I wouldn’t be trying another for quite some time.) I’ve seen maybe a couple of episodes of Next Generation, but, other than that, my Star Trek knowledge is entirely vicarious. What I have to offer is not so much a review, but the observations of a newbie who found the new Star Trek entertaining and accessible, if occasionally lacking in logic as far as its plot.On that note, as an … [Read more...]