Bill is back! After a one-show hiatus, Worldview Academy’s Bill Jack returns with a vengeance, taking time immediately to chip in his two cents about the last podcast — including an odd rant about Thomas the Train. Although co-host Jeff Baldwin does not want to rehash the discussion of “selling out” from the previous show, Bill won’t let it go. Eventually, they move on to listener mail and a discussion of the role of question-asking in apologetics.
Posts in category Aesthetics and Art
The answer to our question seems obvious, doesn’t it? But our guest co-host, Micah Gibson, cheerfully argues that (in the right context) “selling out” can be not only a good business decision but also a good creative decision, at least as long as you want to maintain an audience for your art. Co-host Jeff Baldwin has always admired Bill Watterson for refusing to license Calvin plushies or anything else, but Micah says that may be a mistake. All this, and a rousing discussion about one of the worst books Jeff has ever read!
As longtime listeners know, sometimes Radio Worldview just needs a show to clear the decks. It would be inaccurate to suggest that this episode has a theme — unless you count random segments and trivia and movie commentary as a theme. Bill leads off with a “Roadkill Cafe” segment, and then Jeff chimes in with his opinions about the movie “Brick.” Later, both hosts discuss what they’re working on now. Add a dash of Super Bowl trivia and some discussion of President Lincoln, and you’ve got the hodgepodge we call “Playing Catch-up.”
Merry Christmas to all our listeners! This edition of Radio Worldview, recorded shortly before Christmas, features host Jeff Baldwin ranting about his two recent root canals, and then explaining to co-host Bill Jack why the new movie “The Hobbit” might actually be better than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. Bill and Jeff then consider some of the trailers for unreleased movies like “Pacific Rim” and “Beautiful Creatures,” which don’t offer much hope for the movies in 2013.
It’s been too long! Hosts Bill and Jeff podcast from the Worldview Academy Leadership Camp in New Mexico as they try to catch up with listener mail, what they’re reading now, and the ever-satisfying “Roadkill Cafe.” Was Mohammed visited by a demon? What about Joseph Smith? Why is Islam dying, according to the book Bill is reading now? And what obscure literary figure will Jeff rant about?
It’s not often that Radio Worldview hears from listeners describing the views of one of your hosts as “surpisingly stupid,” so when we do we know we need to talk about it. In this episode, hosts Jeff Baldwin and Bill Jack are so excited to talk about the e-mail heaping vitriol on Jeff that they hardly goof around at all — instead, they dive into a discussion of foreign films and Jeff’s sarcastic description of a fellow faculty member’s Night at the Movies. Can’t we apply the same standard to cinema as we do to literature? Why make fun of another faculty member’s efforts to improve the tastes of his audience? And what does Jeff have against movies with subtitles? Tune in for the answers!
Here’s a tip for all of our listeners who want to write in to the show: if you have a serious question, don’t include any comments about superhero movies or comic books — those distract Jeff from the issue at hand. In this episode of Radio Worldview, a listener makes the mistake of mentioning the Avengers movie, preventing Jeff and Bill from discussing whether or not rap music can actually be art until late in the show. But before any of that happens, we offer the most disgusting segment of Roadkill Cafe yet recorded.
You know how Jeff usually ignores the most popular book of the year and secretly hopes that it just fades away? Not this year! Because his oldest daughter was obsessed with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Jeff read the trilogy before the movie even came out. Bill, of course, saw the movie. Are the books art? Is the movie art? Does any of it articulate a biblical theme? Hopefully our Worldview Academy students can answer these questions for themselves — but in any case, Jeff and Bill dissect the stories here (without giving away the ending).
Don’t let the title fool you; this episode of Radio Worldview encompasses television shows as well. We begin with Bill Jack discussing two recent, highly-acclaimed movies: Hugo and The Grey. While The Grey is both “nihilistic and blasphemous,” according to Bill, it sketches an accurate picture of the consequences of turning your back on God. After more discussion of worldviews reflected in movies, Jeff tries to defend some recent television shows, including “Alcatraz” and “Life on Mars.” Bill is skeptical.
As we celebrate the July release of Worldview Academy faculty member Mark Bertrand’s latest novel, Pattern of Wounds, Radio Worldview host Jeff Baldwin sits down with Mark to find out more. To get listeners up to speed, they begin with his first crime novel, Back on Murder, and then turn to the sequel. Throughout the discussion, they focus on the special problem faced by Christian writers: how can you write a book consistent with your worldview while avoiding preaching and pedantry? Eventually they get down to specifics: isn’t it even harder to write a Christian novel about a serial killer?
It’s true when they sing that “One is the Loneliest Number.” Jeff starts this podcast alone, thanks to the flakiness of his co-host Bill. Fortunately, Bill stumbles through the door about seven minutes into this episode — in plenty of time to invigorate the show, but too late to choose the topic. This week, the topic is selected by a former Worldview Academy student who wants to know more about Jeff’s Christianity and the Arts lecture. Given that creating art requires a level of skill and requires reflecting God’s beauty, how do we define “skill” and “beauty”? Is it even possible for humans to judge in these areas, since God has not revealed His standard for skill or beauty? Or has he? A fruitful discussion ensues, in spite of Bill’s best efforts to sabotage the show.
Has the internet killed newspapers? It certainly looks that way when you consider how many newspapers have stopped the presses. But must all newspapers die? And would it be a bad thing if they did? Why should Christians be concerned that liberal newspapers such as the New York Times are in financial trouble? Jeff and Bill don’t have all the answers, but they identify some of the key issues.
Heaven knows that many Americans spend thousands of dollars to travel to the Super Bowl and watch a single football game. And how many hours are squandered each week reading box scores, watching ESPN, and playing fantasy sports? Can Christians justify any interest in sports? Or are we being bad stewards when we spend our money or time following a team that hits a ball with a stick? And are there any sports that are inherently evil? Don’t expect a Milwaukee Brewers fan to be objective!
What’s all the fuss about? Both Jeff and Bill watched the new movie The Golden Compass to see if Christians really should be up in arms about it. What was most surprising was just how hackneyed the message was–it was right out of The Humanist Manifesto. Still, the makers of The Golden Compass did Christians a bit of a favor: this movie is the perfect “discernment test” for Christian students. If you can’t see through this movie, please don’t claim that you’re equipped to defend your faith on a secular college campus. If you can correctly identify the theme, you’re at least discerning at the level Jeff hopes his kids will when they’re fifteen.
Living in a small town, host Jeff Baldwin is always slow to see the latest movies–so in this show, co-host Bill Jack brings him up to speed on two movies he really liked: Blood Diamond and Amazing Grace. Both movies have redemptive themes, but only one offers true redemption (easy to guess which one, right?). As a bonus, this gives Jeff and Bill the opportunity to expound on the life of William Wilberforce.
Yes, Bill and Jeff are still podcasting from the road–still on the way to Gillette, Wyoming. Listeners may recall that in Part One, Jeff expressed his hope that the podcast would NOT serve as a little black box like those used to reconstruct what happened prior to an airplane crash–but, as the end of this episode makes clear, something certainly goes wrong. Before that happens, Jeff and Bill have a fruitful discussion about the role of the artist, and whether or not it is appropriate for the artist to “sell out.” Is it ever appropriate to make something that is popular and accessible? That turns out to be a difficult question.
Worldview Academy wouldn’t be Worldview Academy if there wasn’t lots of travel involved. In this episode, hosts Jeff and Bill drive to Gillette, Wyoming to teach at a Christianity and Culture Conference. On the way, they try to catch up with all the listener mail–a remarkable amount accumulated over the summer–so that topics range from the theme of the movie “The Village” to imparting a passion for a subject to your students. Also, Bill and Jeff discuss their favorite gift from a podcast listener.
Bill Jack and Co. (Dell Cook, Chad Warren, and Mike Schutt) gather to discuss movies. Chad explains how to dissect a film or a story to find its worldview, and Dell discusses whether or not we project our worldview onto the movies that we watch. Films discussed on the show include First Knight, The Island, The Incredibles, Superman, and Signs.
Thanks to our faithful listeners, we’re never short on listener mail. Today’s question comes from two former Worldview Academy students who have started a “film group” to encourage their friends to apply their Christian worldview to movies. They list some of the movies they’ve viewed, and then ask for suggestions, which are supplied by a roundtable of Worldview Academy faculty members: host Jeff Baldwin, Jay Winslow, Brandon Booth, Phil Fernandes and Mark Bertrand.
In the second half of this discussion, Jeff continues to badger guests Jay and Mark about perceived elitism. Who decides what is truly great literature? Why does it always seem that literary snobs get to make those choices? And what about Philippians 4:8?
One of the most-asked questions by Worldview Academy students involves entertainment. Is it wrong to merely be entertained? Must we always consume “high art”? Why can’t a Christian just enjoy a Peretti novel? These questions spark a lively discussion between Jeff Baldwin and his guests, Worldview Academy faculty members Jay Winslow and Mark Bertrand.
In this on-going feature, Jeff and Bill discuss some of the best films of all time–the sort of movies that are worthy of our contemplation and meditation (Philippians 4:8). They both love The Truman Show, but they disagree about the central theme. Loudly.
More than anything, this show was occasioned by Jeff re-watching the Robert Redford film Quiz Show. This is a great movie that most Christians have overlooked, which caused Jeff and Bill to want to tell listeners about other great movies that are worthy of their contemplation and meditation. Remember, Philippians 4:8 makes it clear that staying away from the bad movies is not enough–we should be actively seeking out the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. With this in mind, Jeff and Bill recommend a few movies–and promise to recommend many more in shows to come.