Postmodern Realities Podcast

Postmodern Realities Podcast

Hosted by Melanie Cogdill the Managing Editor at the Christian Research Institute, Postmodern Realities is a podcast from the Christian Research Institute and the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL. Each podcast features in-depth conversations with our JOURNAL authors.... Show More

Episodes

March 4, 2021 38 min
Many Christians may not admit it but they probably have entertained the dark fantasy of avenging a loved one in a roaring rampage of revenge. Did the hit movie Taken, with its perfectly delivered and iconic dialogue, create this fantasy? Or did it merely tap into an unspoken desire? Does Liam Neeson’s deep-voiced threat sound cool because we all have a deep-down desire for vigilante justice? Rarely do these movies wrestle with ques...
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The term YOLO was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 20162 but appears as early as 2011 when Drake, the Canadian singer and hip-hop artist, used it in a famous, excessively profane song.4 A fresh iteration of the ironically timeless “Carpe Diem,” YOLO is as plastic as that term, molding itself to any single person’s perception of the good life. How I employ it reveals my heart priorities, the things I most value, and the dim...
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C. S. Lewis once wrote in this book Miracles that “the Central Miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation….Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.” Important as the mysteries of the death and resurrection of Christ are, without the supreme mystery of the Incarnation, the crucifixion and resurrection would not have their saving power. The very Person of Christ is the gospel. Such is the...
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Few actors have become so intrinsically tied to a character they’ve played like Hugh Jackman and his portrayal of James Howlett, better known as Logan, the Wolverine. A central figure in 20th Century Fox’s long-running X-Men film series, Logan is a mutant with an accelerated healing ability and a bad temper who sprouts bony, claw-like protrusions from his hands when it comes time for some down and dirty knuckle-dusting. His mutant ...
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When struggling with the loss of a loved one, it is sometimes more helpful to turn to poetry than to philosophy for answers and for consolation. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the greatest and most representative poet of the British Victorian Age, struggled mightily with the problem of pain in an epic poem that he wrote as a way of dealing with his grief over the sudden death of his closest friend, Arthur Hallam. But his poem, In Memoriam,...
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Contrary to popular thinking, Christianity is a “knowledge tradition” and calls people to knowledge of God, themselves, and the gospel. This also means, paradoxically, that we ought to know what it is that we cannot possibly know and how we should orient ourselves to our not-knowing under God.

This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Douglas Groothuis about his article in the 43:3 Issue of the Journal...
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New Age spiritual leader, New York Times bestselling author, and ancient alien expert on the History channel, David Wilcock subscribes to many conspiracies, from time travel to benevolent extraterrestrials on earth. Wilcock also believes he’s the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce and that he’s serving humankind by preparing us for a mass evolutionary event. How should Christians respond to his teaching?

This Postmodern Realities episode ...
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Wonder Woman 1984 is a film about longing. A major temptation when adapting comic book material is to sacrifice characters and emotionally resonant narratives for action sequences driven primarily by special effects and computer-generated images. While WW84 is not short on action, and the special effects are top-notch, the movie does not turn upon these sequences. Instead, the narrative is carried primarily by four very capable act...
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Woven through the political struggles of Star Wars are religious and personal conflicts. It’s possible that Star Wars is the most religiously interested of all major Hollywood franchises. While religion is almost completely absent in mainstream Hollywood cinema–except as an occasional bogeyman or mythological background–Star Wars is centered on the abstract and impersonal “Force” as a source of supernatural power and as a moral axi...
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“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “No one is good except God alone.

Social psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt, in his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion works through the secular psychological research that propels each person towards the defense of personal goodness. In a series of interviews with people from differently stratified class, gender, and ethnic categories, Haidt and...
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Generation Z,” or Gen Z, the generation born after 1995 has grown up as digital natives. What can we do to reach this younger generation, which is more likely to be spiritually and biblically illiterate than any previous, and to shepherd the faith of Gen Z within the church? While it is tempting to use generational research to develop highly contextual approaches to evangelism that meet young people exactly where they are, such att...
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Christopher Pike is the original captain of the famed starship Enterprise, played first by Jeffrey Hunter in an unaired 1965 pilot (“The Cage”) and now by Anson Mount in the forthcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Mount’s portrayal first won over audiences and critics alike in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery (2017), which reimagined Pike as a grounded and unflappable leader, a singular and remarka...
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The recent Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” brings together a handful of past Silicon Valley executives to begin to question and consider how our social media practices — and even the algorithms and business models — actually detract from human freedom, connection, health, and social stability. The question for Christians is not only how has social media changed the landscape of civility and discussion, but also how it is...
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Matthew Kennedy writes in his article, “It is difficult to find a professing Christian leader who has relinquished the classical Christian position on sexuality on purely exegetical grounds. The most popular voices in the less academic evangelical realm who claim to have changed their minds–Matthew Vines, Justin Lee, and Jen Hatmaker–are either gay or are very close to someone who is. The readiness with which these high-profile Chr...
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The burnout rates of medical professionals in 2020 have turned our attention to the fact that those who care for others must also care for themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally if they wish to continue being effective. Although it is agreed that self-care is important, our cultural understanding of how we view and care for “self” has changed over time. Contemporary American culture assumes that self-care isn’t just a goo...
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Today, almost twenty-five percent of American adults self-identify as religiously unaffiliated, roughly the same numbers of Evangelicals and Catholics, respectively, making them one of the fastest-growing demographics, especially amongst the young. If asked why, bestselling author and Atheist Sam Harris might respond, “Because science!” However, there is always a story behind the statistics, a narrative buried in the numbers. Socio...
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During the Spring of 2020, right as the global pandemic hit, author, speaker, and women’s lifestyle guru Rachel Hollis launched a 90-day challenge to become an overall better and more functional person. Through March, April, and May, Hollis posted peppy, adorable photos of her and her husband Dave, chatted about writing a book in the middle of the chaos of COVID, and pivoted her brand at lightning speed. However, it was also during...
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The word evangelism can cause many images to form in the Christian mind. Some people may think of committed missionaries who travel to the ends of the earth. Others may think of Paul, Peter, Stephen, and other martyrs of the early church who lost their lives for the sake of the gospel. Still, others might imagine a man in a suit on a street corner with a bullhorn and a gospel tract. Probably few of us think of ourselves. However, a...
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The six-season animated Netflix show BoJack Horseman has been nominated for three Emmy awards, including twice for Outstanding Animated Program. The show is largely about the titular antihero, BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) who is an anthropomorphic horse and has-been television sitcom star from the 1980s and ‘90s who now lives a directionless life, wallowing in biting sarcasm and ongoing substance abuse problems. Although...
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Suburban life–including tract homes, strip malls, commuter culture–shapes our desires. More than half of Americans live in the suburbs. But for many Christians, however: “The suburbs are ignored (‘Your place doesn’t matter, we’re all going to heaven anyway’), denigrated and demeaned (‘You’re selfish if you live in a suburb; you only care about your own safety and advancement’), or seen as a cop-out from a faithful Christian life (‘...
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