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Just the Same as You, by Josh Long

11 Sep

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.52.24 AM

If you haven’t seen this video yet, it was only a matter of time before you did. BuzzFeed’s recent video features self-identified Christians talking about themselves. They talk about what they are, but more importantly (so the video makers think) about what they are not. The socio-political aim of the video is obvious from the things they abjure: homophobia, ignorance, conservatism, etc. While many Christian opponents to gay marriage are offended at the implicit suggestion that they are the “really terrible people” in Christianity, others saw the video as a refreshing, positive spin on Christianity. To the question of why BuzzFeed would create this video, the answer is probably that it’s an attempt to re-engineer their social image after Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith claimed there were “not two sides” to the gay marriage debate. The deeper questions begin to blossom when we examine the culture’s perspective on Christianity, the Christian response to cultural morality, and the church’s desire for relevance and acceptance.

Whether intentionally or not, BuzzFeed’s video starts with an implied description of how the United States culture at large sees Christians. If the culture didn’t see Christians as “closed-minded, ignorant, judgmental ” for example, there would be no reason for these Christians to specify that they are not. And why are Christians seen this way? Perhaps there’s a hint in the video itself, as these same individuals assure us they are not “homophobic” or “conservative.” It’s not a big leap to say that culturally, all of these things are seen to go hand-in-hand.


Episode 132: with special guest Greg Koukl

19 Jun


In this episode, Tyler is joined by Christian apologist Greg Koukl to talk about his faith and career.

Episode 127: Going Clear

2 Apr


In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Alex Gibney’s Going Clear and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man.

00:00:44- Intro, Battleship Pretension, Wondercon Meetup, ASMR
00:05:10- Going Clear
01:01:30- The Wicker Man (1973)
01:09:25- What’s the difference between Scientology and Christianity?
01:36:20- Episode wrap-up

Something Old, Something New, by Reed Lackey

28 Feb


One of my biggest criticisms of the genre known as the “Christian film” is that the films too often feel reactionary. Rather than being created from a desire to tell a good story and tell it well, many films in the “Christian” genre are responding to a specific cultural condition with a specific message and an undeniable agenda.

The latest film to fall into this category is Old Fashioned, written and directed by Rik Swartzwelder, who also stars as the lead role opposite Elizabeth Roberts. The film centers around a couple whose romance is more akin to “courtship” than dating and was specifically marketed as the Evangelical response to 50 Shades of Grey. I should be upfront about the fact that I wasn’t expecting much from it.

But the marketing campaign was probably a disservice to the film because what I saw offered me a few surprises, which not only endeared it to me as a positive entry in the “Christian film” genre, but also gave me some glimmers of hope for where that genre might be headed.


An Open Letter to Christian Filmmakers, by Joe Zaragoza

20 Feb


I just got out of seeing the movie Old Fashioned. Here are some things I noticed: It was a Monday morning and the theater was packed. The movie was getting laughs from the audience throughout. When the movie ended, people applauded it. Also, as I was leaving, an older woman sitting in my aisle with her husband asked me, “Wasn’t that a wonderful movie?” while I heard another person say, “There needs to be more movies like this.” Now, if this is your audience, if this is who you are making movies for, then good job! You guys are succeeding. Not just Old Fashioned, but all Christian films. I remember leaving God’s Not Dead and seeing people genuinely excited about it, pulling out their cell phones, I’m guessing to text people, “God’s Not Dead” as the movie instructs, and then myself receiving the text “God’s Not Dead!” for several weeks after that from random Christian friends. You have an audience. Christians are going to your movies and they are going to continue to go to your movies.


Puzzle Maker, by Reed Lackey

3 Feb


Picture with me, for a moment, a machine. It has its own circuits, electrical impulses, and energy source. But this machine’s purpose extends beyond programmable functions to re-programmable functions. In other words, this machine can learn, can reason, and can deduce. It can evolve.


Episode 122: with special guest Corbin Bernsen

14 Jan


In this episode, Tyler and Josh are joined by actor/director Corbin Bernsen to discuss his faith, career, and the state of Christian film.

Minisode 53: Home Redux

24 Dec

ventura church

In this minisode, Tyler tells a story about visiting his old church in Ventura.

Episode 121: Exodus: Gods and Kings

19 Dec


In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings and David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia.

00:00:44- Intro, “The Year of the Christian Film”
00:09:23- Exodus: Gods and Kings
01:04:40- Lawrence of Arabia
01:17:45- Episode wrap-up

Episode 120: Saving Christmas

12 Dec


In this episode, Tyler and Josh are joined by Nathan Potter to discuss Darren Doane’s Saving Christmas and Bill Melendez’ A Charlie Brown Christmas.

00:00:50- Intro, Miami Meet-up, Nathan Potter
00:04:10- Saving Christmas
01:39:35- A Charlie Brown Christmas
01:55:50- Episode wrap-up