Podcast #89: Two Very Different Decisions

When we last discussed Lebron James and his impending decision as to where he would end up next, we had no idea what sort of incredible craziness would ensue after our podcast. Now that it's happened, we're left a little bit stunned at all of the theatrics and the resulting fallout.Also, on the heels of a landmark Friday Night Lights episode in which the issue of abortion is dealt with head-on, we discuss popular culture's treatment of the subject, as well as what sort of treatment Christians … [Read more...]

Friday Night Lights Tackles Abortion Head On

It's a common trope in recent popular culture that whenever a character finds themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, the only real choices are between keeping the baby and adoption. In Juno, abortion is considered momentarily but disregarded after being faced with the idea that her fetus may in fact have fingernails. In Knocked Up, the word itself is treated as some sort of unutterable expletive, a winking nod to the firestorm of controversy surrounding the practice. In Glee, abortion isn't even … [Read more...]

Americans: The World Cup Can Make You A Better Person

It's sometimes lonely being a soccer fan in the states, especially in my small town where soccer lovers are few and far between. The reality is that, for whatever reason, Americans have not embraced, and don't appear to be any closer to embracing, soccer. Despite the fact that it is the World's Sport, celebrated and beloved everywhere else, and contains some of the globe's most notable celebrities, Americans can hardly tolerate "kick ball." I would like to propose to you, however, that watching … [Read more...]

What Can We Learn From a "Blind" Referee?

If you are even the slightest sports fan, patriot, or mildly curious observer of culture, you are aware of the foul called by Koman Coulibaly on Maurice Edu of the United States soccer team last Friday--most Americans had probably never heard of either of these two individuals until Coulibaly's foul call cost the American soccer team the most dramatic comeback victory in World Cup history.There were roughly somewhere between 5-10 fouls going on in that penalty box when Landon Donovan whipped a … [Read more...]

Podcast #86: The Almost Perfect Game, the World Cup, and Izzo.

They may not seem like issues with any sort of deeper cultural implications, but the near-perfect baseball game, the World Cup, and the whole Lebron/Izzo story can make us think about some pretty important issues for Christians and sports fans alike. In this episode, Ben and Rich discuss those issues... even though Rich had to work real hard to care.Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture. We love feedback! If you’d like to r … [Read more...]

Nike and God Battle It Out For the Future

"Write the future," says the new tagline for an amazing Nike commercial which aired for the first time during the Champion's League Final. The commercial is three minutes long and is fast-paced, gripping, funny, and (for soccer fans) beautiful. The ad shows a host of soccer superstars either making it big from their play on the field or destroying their lives and their countries because of their poor play. From a purely artistic perspective the ad is worth watching.The ad is funny at points. … [Read more...]

Diamond Fellowship: What Baseball Can Teach Us About Community and Worship

America is a nation in love with sports. Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey—we find these and many more reasons to watch games in person and on television.  Baseball, which used to be the national pastime, remains a popular but less dominant sport, especially compared to the NFL.While I have spoken of my love for baseball before, the renewal of a new season brings new reasons for that affection. In philosophy, it is often argued that we love certain persons or things either because they ar … [Read more...]

Podcast #76: War is Madness, But So is March

Ben and I talk about the merits of sports in the midst of March Madness, and with the debut of HBO's The Pacific, ruminate on why exactly it is that men so love war films. Plus, the return of the top 5 with our top 5 war films!Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to christandpopculture@gmail.com, or go to our contact page. We would love to … [Read more...]

Podcast #74: Love is Messed Up

Valentine's Day is over kids, and if you think love is still everywhere you look, you don't really know anything about what love is. This week, we discuss Tiger Wood's attempt to salvage his own love-life and what (if anything) it has to do with us. We also discuss the train wreck that is the mainstream romantic film.Programming Note: Starting this week, we'll be recording the podcast on Monday and publishing earlier in the week, usually on Wednesday.Every week, Richard Clark and Ben … [Read more...]

Podcast #73: The Games

Which is more meaningful? Video games, or the Olympic games? Rich argues that recent video games have broken new ground in areas of subject matter, character development, and emotional resonance. After they talk about that for a while, Ben and Rich try and figure out if there's anything noteworthy to talk about concerning the Olympic games. Like maybe curling?Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture. We love feedback! If you’d like … [Read more...]