Think Christian: A Faith and Pop Culture Podcast

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How might your pop culture fandom resonate with your faith? Josh Larsen, editor of Think Christian, talks with TC writers about the latest in TV, movies, music, and more, exploring the ways popular culture and its cultivators interact with God’s story.

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    • Oct 12, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • every other week NEW EPISODES
    • 38m AVG DURATION
    • 89 EPISODES

    Listeners of Think Christian: A Faith and Pop Culture Podcast that love the show mention: josh larsen, josh and his guests, filmspotting, christian worldview, secular, insightful podcast, christians, pop culture, video games, philosophy, faith, movies, thoughtful, books, perspective, etc, looking forward, conversations, friends, great work.



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    Latest episodes from Think Christian: A Faith and Pop Culture Podcast

    A Christian Defense of Horror Part III (Malignant, 1931's Frankenstein)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 41:45

    Our annual Halloween show applies a theological lens to horror both new (James Wan's Malignant) and old (1931's Frankenstein). Josh, JR., and Sarah discuss what Christians might appreciate about movies designed to scare us.

    Bad Samaritans (Seinfeld, The Eyes of Tammy Faye)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 41:32

    Love thy neighbor? The four narcissistic New Yorkers on Seinfeld, coming soon to Netflix, weren't exactly known for looking out for others. What about Tammy Faye Bakker, whose television ministry with husband Jim Bakker began with good intentions but ended in scandal, as dramatized in the new movie The Eyes of Tammy Faye? Josh, Aarik, and Abby consider the show and film in light of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    Wellness (Nine Perfect Strangers, Lorde's Solar Power)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 47:10

    “Wellness” has both spiritual and physical connotations — connotations explored in the Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers and the new album from Lorde. What is Christianity's place in a world of smoothies, meditation, and sun salutations?

    You're Invited to the TC Movie Club

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2021 1:30

    For the first edition of the TC Movie Club, we'll discuss where four Coen brothers films fall within an Old Testament-New Testament framework: Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit. We're eyeing the evening of Oct. 22 as the date of our first virtual gathering. You can join the club at thinkchristian.net/movieclub.

    Heroes of Faith (The Suicide Squad, The Green Knight)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 43:58

    Josh, Claude, and Joe consider biblical heroism in the light (or shadow) of two new antihero movies: The Suicide Squad and The Green Knight.

    History Lessons (Loki, Summer of Soul)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 42:36

    In Loki, events are erased from the “sacred timeline.” In the music documentary Summer of Soul, discarded history comes to light. What are Christians called to remember across the ages, and why?

    Nostalgia (In the Heights, Lucy Dacus' Home Video)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2021 38:40

    Nostalgia - fondly remembering the way things were - can trap us in the past, but sometimes it can point toward the future. Josh, Abby, and Aarik discuss the nostalgia at work in In the Heights and Lucy Dacus' Home Video, considering how both compare to a Christian understanding of reminiscence.

    Solitude and Silence (A Quiet Place Part II, The Underground Railroad)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2021 37:21

    What part can solitude and silence play in the devotional life of the Christian? How might signature moments in A Quiet Place Part II and The Underground Railroad exemplify the spiritual value of stillness? Kathryn and Sarah join Josh to discuss.

    Multicultural Christianity (Raya and the Last Dragon, Becoming All Things)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2021 33:51

    Michelle joins Josh to discuss the multicultural animated adventure Raya and the Last Dragon in the context of her new book - Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Can Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures.

    Swords into Plowshares (Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Wrath of Man)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2021 41:18

    A rash of gun violence in the first half of 2021 has us wondering about the depiction of weapons in pop culture - particularly in Star Wars: The Bad Batch and Jason Statham’s Wrath of Man. How can we reconcile the prevalence of weaponry in our films and television with the weapon-less vision of Isaiah 2?

    Backsliding (DMX, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2021 39:11

    Every Christian falters in their faith. The late rapper DMX did so publicly; in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes does so symbolically. Josh, Claude, and JR. discuss what both say about slippin’.

    Biblical Beasts (Godzilla vs. Kong, Becoming Alien)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2021 25:53

    Are there such things as holy monsters? To celebrate her new book, Becoming Alien, Sarah joins Josh to discuss the new Godzilla vs. Kong, the leviathan of the Bible, and how both relate to the Alien film series.

    Kingdom Come (Coming 2 America, Marvel Comics’ Empyre)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2021 42:52

    When Christians pray “Your kingdom come . . .” what do we mean? Josh, Claude, and Joe look to two kingdom-concerned pieces of pop culture — Eddie Murphy’s Coming 2 America and Marvel’s Empyre — for answers.

    God at the Grammys (Megan Thee Stallion, Ingrid Andress, Brittany Howard)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2021 38:27

    Among this year’s Grammy nominees are Megan Thee Stallion, Ingrid Andress, and Brittany Howard. Josh, Kathryn, and Aarik discuss their eclectic musical styles and consider what their songs have to say about God’s unconditional love and how we hold the imago dei.

    Pop Culture Pastors (The VelociPastor, The Night of the Hunter)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2021 45:51

    Josh fulfills his promise to JR. to watch and discuss The VelociPastor. They’re joined by Abby, who brings along a slightly more respected movie featuring a clergyperson: 1955’s The Night of the Hunter.

    Family (WandaVision, Minari)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2021 43:21

    The notion of family is crucial to the Christian story, from God’s calling of Abram’s clan to our experience of God as Father and Son. How might the Marvel series WandaVision and the independent film Minari - two very different types of family dramas - help us think about the role of family in the Christian life? Sarah and Michelle join Josh to discuss.

    Best of 2020

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2021 93:36

    The entire podcast team gathers to celebrate our favorite movies, TV, and music of 2020. From Soul to Ted Lasso to Phoebe Bridgers, some good stuff actually happened last year.

    Secular Christmas Songs (Mariah Carey, Jonas Brothers)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2020 31:51


    We all know the carols and hymns. How might secular Christmas songs - of which we get more each year - also reflect the religious significance of the season? Josh, Kathryn, and Michelle give a listen to Mariah Carey’s classic, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and a new holiday song from the Jonas Brothers.


    Secular Christmas Songs (Mariah Carey, Jonas Brothers)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2020 31:51


    We all know the carols and hymns. How might secular Christmas songs - of which we get more each year - also reflect the religious significance of the season? Josh, Kathryn, and Michelle give a listen to Mariah Carey’s classic, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and a new holiday song from the Jonas Brothers.


    Born Again (Schitt’s Creek, Sufjan Stevens’ The Ascension)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2020 38:03

    What did Jesus mean when he said we must be born again? Josh, JR., and Aarik look to the final season of Schitt’s Creek and Sufjan Stevens’ The Ascension for possible answers.

    Born Again (Schitt’s Creek, Sufjan Stevens’ The Ascension)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2020 38:03

    What did Jesus mean when he said we must be born again? Josh, JR., and Aarik look to the final season of Schitt’s Creek and Sufjan Stevens’ The Ascension for possible answers.

    A Christian Defense of Horror, Part II (Relic, Candyman ’92)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2020 39:06

    On the eve of another Halloween, Joe George and Abby Olcese join Josh once again to discuss a Christian approach to the horror genre, this time focusing on 1992’s Candyman and the recent Australian film Relic.

    A Christian Defense of Horror, Part II (Relic, Candyman ’92)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2020 39:06

    On the eve of another Halloween, Joe George and Abby Olcese join Josh once again to discuss a Christian approach to the horror genre, this time focusing on 1992’s Candyman and the recent Australian film Relic.

    Pop Psalms

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2020 26:18

    Josh, Sarah, and Aarik discuss a few of the essays in our latest ebook, Pop Psalms: How our favorite pop, rock, hip hop, and country songs echo the wisdom literature of the Bible. Get your free copy at thinkchristian.net/poppsalms.

    Pop Psalms

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2020 26:18

    Josh, Sarah, and Aarik discuss a few of the essays in our latest ebook, Pop Psalms: How our favorite pop, rock, hip hop, and country songs echo the wisdom literature of the Bible. Get your free copy at thinkchristian.net/poppsalms.

    Conspiracy Theories (Tenet, Lovecraft Country)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2020 39:25

    Many Christians have become enamored with harmful conspiracy theories in recent years. What do Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and HBO’s Lovecraft Country, both steeped in conspiratorial plots, say about the allure of untruth? Josh, Claude, and JR. investigate.

    Conspiracy Theories (Tenet, Lovecraft Country)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2020 39:25

    Many Christians have become enamored with harmful conspiracy theories in recent years. What do Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and HBO’s Lovecraft Country, both steeped in conspiratorial plots, say about the allure of untruth? Josh, Claude, and JR. investigate.

    Quarantine Hymns (Taylor Swift’s folklore, Billie Eilish’s “my future”)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2020 27:13

    Artists in isolation during COVID-19 have released surprise songs about loneliness and self-reflection. How might the likes of Taylor Swift’s folklore and Billie Eilish’s “my future” speak to us as Christians?

    Quarantine Hymns (Taylor Swift’s folklore, Billie Eilish’s “my future”)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2020 27:13

    Artists in isolation during COVID-19 have released surprise songs about loneliness and self-reflection. How might the likes of Taylor Swift’s folklore and Billie Eilish’s “my future” speak to us as Christians?

    Holy Nonsense (Muppets Now, Floor is Lava)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2020 35:37

    Does silliness have theological significance? Josh, Michelle, and Aarik look to Muppets Now and Floor is Lava for answers — and fun.

    Holy Nonsense (Muppets Now, Floor is Lava)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2020 35:37

    Does silliness have theological significance? Josh, Michelle, and Aarik look to Muppets Now and Floor is Lava for answers — and fun.

    Time (Palm Springs, The Old Guard)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2020 31:21

    Time is a curse in both Palm Springs and The Old Guard, two new streaming movies. How should Christians think about time, and use the time we’ve been given? Josh, Sarah, and Joe discuss in light of the Andy Samberg romantic comedy and the Charlize Theron action flick.

    Time (Palm Springs, The Old Guard)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2020 31:21

    Time is a curse in both Palm Springs and The Old Guard, two new streaming movies. How should Christians think about time, and use the time we’ve been given? Josh, Sarah, and Joe discuss in light of the Andy Samberg romantic comedy and the Charlize Theron action flick.

    God Bless America? (Hamilton on Disney Plus, Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2020 32:56

    What does it mean to be a citizen of a nation and also belong to the Kingdom of God? Josh, Abby, and JR. consider in light of the smash musical Hamilton, now on Disney Plus, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent run as writer of Captain America.

    God Bless America? (Hamilton on Disney Plus, Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2020 32:56

    What does it mean to be a citizen of a nation and also belong to the Kingdom of God? Josh, Abby, and JR. consider in light of the smash musical Hamilton, now on Disney Plus, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent run as writer of Captain America.

    Black Lives Matter (Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, Mickey Guyton's "Black Like Me")

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2020 37:56

    The rallying cry that Black Lives Matter finds biblical support in the concept of the imago dei: that every person is made in the image of God. In their own ways, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me” preach the same thing.

    Black Lives Matter (Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, Mickey Guyton's "Black Like Me")

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2020 37:56

    The rallying cry that Black Lives Matter finds biblical support in the concept of the imago dei: that every person is made in the image of God. In their own ways, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me” preach the same thing.

    Star Wars Watch Party

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2020 29:25

    The TC podcast team recently hosted another watch party with listeners over Zoom, this time for 1977's Star Wars. We’re sharing our pre- and post-movie conversation here, where we discuss Christian just war ethics, the "scale of hope," and what we each think is the most underrated Star Wars film.

    Star Wars Watch Party

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2020 29:25

    The TC podcast team recently hosted another watch party with listeners over Zoom, this time for 1977's Star Wars. We’re sharing our pre- and post-movie conversation here, where we discuss Christian just war ethics, the "scale of hope," and what we each think is the most underrated Star Wars film.

    Humility (Michael Jordan’s Last Dance, Jason Isbell’s Reunions)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2020 39:08


    Humility has never been a word used to describe NBA legend Michael Jordan, who remains true to form in the ESPN documentary about him. Can strains of humility be better heard on Reunions, the new album from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit? Josh, Kathryn, and Aarik consider what both the doc and the LP reveal about this distinctly Christian virtue.


    Humility (Michael Jordan’s Last Dance, Jason Isbell’s Reunions)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2020 39:08


    Humility has never been a word used to describe NBA legend Michael Jordan, who remains true to form in the ESPN documentary about him. Can strains of humility be better heard on Reunions, the new album from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit? Josh, Kathryn, and Aarik consider what both the doc and the LP reveal about this distinctly Christian virtue.


    Bonus: Spider-Verse Commentary

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2020 139:12

    Miss watching movies with friends? Cue up this commentary from the TC podcast team while watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and enjoy the film with us.

    Bonus: Spider-Verse Commentary

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2020 139:12

    Miss watching movies with friends? Cue up this commentary from the TC podcast team while watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and enjoy the film with us.

    Spider-Verse Watch Party

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2020 33:23

    The TC podcast team recently got “together” with listeners to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We’re sharing our pre- and post-movie conversation here, where we choose our favorite Spider-Verse characters; discuss what mentoring looks like for Christians; and consider how costuming can be a sign of sanctification. (Look for audio of our in-movie commentary later in the TC podcast feed.)

    Spider-Verse Watch Party

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2020 33:23

    The TC podcast team recently got “together” with listeners to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We’re sharing our pre- and post-movie conversation here, where we choose our favorite Spider-Verse characters; discuss what mentoring looks like for Christians; and consider how costuming can be a sign of sanctification. (Look for audio of our in-movie commentary later in the TC podcast feed.)

    Empathy (Tiger King, Never Rarely Sometimes Always)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2020 36:20

    The late film critic Roger Ebert once described movies as “empathy machines.” What’s a Christian understanding of empathy, and do Netflix’s Tiger King and the new indie film Never Rarely Sometimes Always embody it? Josh and Claude find scant signs in the tale of Joe Exotic, while Sarah joins Josh to discuss their more positive - if challenging - experience with Never Rarely.

    Empathy (Tiger King, Never Rarely Sometimes Always)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2020 36:20

    The late film critic Roger Ebert once described movies as “empathy machines.” What’s a Christian understanding of empathy, and do Netflix’s Tiger King and the new indie film Never Rarely Sometimes Always embody it? Josh and Claude find scant signs in the tale of Joe Exotic, while Sarah joins Josh to discuss their more positive - if challenging - experience with Never Rarely.

    Idols (Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana, Grimes’ Miss Anthropocene)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2020 38:18

    Who is the idol in Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary? What are the “New Gods” on Grimes’ latest album, Miss Anthropocene? Josh, Aarik, and new guest Michelle Reyes discuss on the latest TC podcast.

    Idols (Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana, Grimes’ Miss Anthropocene)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2020 38:18

    Who is the idol in Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary? What are the “New Gods” on Grimes’ latest album, Miss Anthropocene? Josh, Aarik, and new guest Michelle Reyes discuss on the latest TC podcast.

    Contagious Comfort (John Legend Together at Home, Stephen Colbert’s Light Show)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2020 26:57


    By offering “at home” performances during COVID-19, entertainers like John Legend and Stephen Colbert exercise the communal assurance Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 1: “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”


    Contagious Comfort (John Legend Together at Home, Stephen Colbert’s Light Show)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2020 26:57


    By offering “at home” performances during COVID-19, entertainers like John Legend and Stephen Colbert exercise the communal assurance Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 1: “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”


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