S3E02 Loki

The Kingsmen welcome Dr. Kutter Callaway in to unpack the mind-bending Marvel show, Loki (2021).

What makes a person? Can a person change and become better? Is a human (or a god’s) life predetermined, or do they have free will? Is self-love always narcissistic? What makes a system authoritarian? What is your glorious purpose?

Click here to listen.


  1. [00:00:19] Introduction
    • [00:02:47] Initial Thoughts on Loki
    • [00:05:03] Graciousness toward God
  2. [00:09:08] Letting Go of Control
    • [00:09:56] Respect for Mystery
  3. [00:13:58] The Shape of Authoritarianism
    • [00:17:08] Authoritarianism Demands Strict Adherence
    • [00:18:32] Giving Up Freedom for Security
    • [00:20:59] The Vicious Cycle of Power-Grabbing
  4. [00:21:34] Catalysts of Transformation
    • [00:23:28] Freedom to Enjoy God’s Gifts
    • [00:25:34] Radical Conversion to Selflessness
  5. [00:26:20] Is Self-Love Always Narcissistic?
    • [00:28:04] The Attractiveness of a Hero(ine)
    • [00:30:30] Eros Love for Jesus Christ
  6. [00:32:40] To Be Human, One Requires an Other
    • [00:35:50] Destroying the Other Destroys Oneself
    • [00:36:40] How Other Shape a Person’s Identity
    • [00:38:45] Collective Humankind Reflects the Image of God
    • [00:39:44] We Carry Each Other Through Hardships
    • [00:40:31] Others Help Confront One’s Folly
    • [00:41:21] The Other Holds Up a Mirror to Confront Your Vices
    • [00:42:18] Fundamental Attribution Error
    • [00:44:44] The Punitive Time-Loop as Parable and Metaphor of Hell
    • [00:49:13] Family, Not Enemies
    • [00:53:07] Inspiring the Other to Be Better
    • [00:55:52] Seeing Eternity as Eternal Growth
  7. [00:57:28] Free Will, Determinism, and Resurrection
    • [00:59:49] Resurrection as Perpetual Newness
    • [01:01:54] Treasure versus Trash
    • [01:03:18] The Importance of Humility
    • [01:05:33] How to Live Out Resurrection Now?
    • [01:05:55] Fearing Oneself and Looking for Intervention
    • [01:07:13] Trusting Resurrection
    • [01:09:22] The Scandalous Incarnational Embodiment of God
  8. [01:11:13] Glorious Purpose
  9. [01:12:38] Closing Remarks

S3E01 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Kingsmen premiers its third season by delving into the thought-provoking show, The Falcon & the Winter Soldier (2021).

With their esteemed guest, Jordan Acosta, they explore topics like power and privilege, conflicting interpretations of symbols, the worthiness of a successor, imagining a just future, and striving to always do better.


  1. [00:00:12] Introduction
    1. [00:00:58] Ph.D. Announcement
    2. [00:03:07] FWS vs. Wandavision
  2. [00:05:19] Theme of Power and Privilege
    1. [00:11:15] John Walker’s Blindness
    2. [00:12:54] American Lives vs. Enemy Lives
    3. [00:13:43] The “Correct” Society
    4. [00:14:23] Internal vs. External Power
    5. [00:14:47] God Looks at the Heart
    6. [00:15:31] The Convergence of Authoritarianism
    7. [00:16:23] Zemo’s Misguided Ideology
    8. [00:17:18] ‘Us vs. Them’ Mentality
    9. [00:18:14] Irony of the Flag Smasher’s Unity
  3. [00:19:36] Sam is a Peacemaker
    1. [00:21:27] Sam Wilson as a Tragic Hero
    2. [00:22:59] The Wilson Boat Symbolizes America 
    3. [00:24:24] Steve Rogers as a Tragic Hero 
  4. [00:25:22] The Symbolism of the Shield
    1. [00:25:47] Historical and Mythological Attachments 
    2. [00:26:55] Negative and Positive POVs of the Symbol
    3. [00:27:32] Which Perspective is Correct? 
    4. [00:27:56] A Symbol’s Centripetal and Centrifugal Movement
    5. [00:29:42] Sam Must Grapple with All the the Shield Represents
    6. [00:30:00] Sam Fills the Shield with Fresh New Meaning
  5. [00:31:49] The Shield and Its Bearer as Incarnation 
    1. [00:33:32] Aiming for Perfect Virtue
    2. [00:35:23] Being Your Authentic Self 
    3. [00:37:00] The Chiastic Structure of Walker-Rogers-Wilson 
    4. [00:37:36] Sam’s Personal Friendship with Steve 
  6. [00:38:18] Various Responses to the Ideal/Shield
    1. [00:39:04] Sam’s Worthiness 
    2. [00:39:54] The Belief that We Can Do Better
    3. [00:40:12] Sam’s Negotiation with Carrying the Burden of the Shield
    4. [00:41:25] Wrestling with the True Object Behind the Tradition 
    5. [00:42:32] Walker Did Not Have to Earn the Shield 
    6. [00:43:16] The Stark Contrast Between Rogers and Walker 
  7. [00:45:44] John Walker, Resentment, Idolatry
    1. [00:48:33] The Hidden Value of Experiencing Failure 
  8. [00:52:18] Following Orders vs. Doing What’s Right 
    1. [00:56:29] the Law and the law 
  9. [01:00:21] Characters Represent Political POVs
  10. [01:03:22] The Armor and Shield from Wakanda
    1. [01:06:45] Sam’s Suit as Wakanda’s Forgiveness 
    2. [01:07:18] Sam’s Vulnerability Enables Him to Do Good in the World
    3. [01:08:18] What Has Been Given Can Be Taken Back
    4. [01:09:16] Irony: A Black Woman Declares Freedom For a White Man
  11. [01:11:46] Art Creates Space to Imagine Potential 
    1. [01:14:07] Ayo Exemplifies Forgiveness and Free Bucky from His Own Prison 
    2. [01:15:28] Stories Challenge Us to Embody an Ideal 
    3. [01:15:48] Imagine Sharing a World with People One Dislikes
    4. [01:16:53] Justice Requires Imagination to Envision a Good World that Does Not Exist Yet 
  12. [01:17:55] The Struggle of Democracy as a Social Practice 
  13. [01:19:19] Sharon Carter, A Good Person Who Lost Hope
    1. [01:20:31] For Some, Their Mere Existence is a Crime 
  14. [01:21:47] Conclusion

S2E06 Inside Out

S2E06 Inside Out
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In S2E06, the Kingsmen and special guest, Danny Fitelson, embark on an inward journey exploring emotions in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out (2015). What is the purpose and effect of emotions and human imagination? How do Joy AND Sadness partner together in the Christian life? Don’t be afraid to let your emotions out on this episode. You might get angry and disgusted with yourself if you miss out. Trust us, you’ll be joyful that you didn’t.


00:02:35What makes Inside Out such a good movie?
00:06:50What happens to memories? Are they truly forgotten?
00:09:38How does Bing Bong reflect Christ?
00:11:13What is imagination, why is it so important for life, and how does it complement with Joy?
00:19:35What is the significance of Joy as our first emotion?
00:23:12What makes Joy unique in respect to the other emotions?
00:25:13Why are the range of emotions equally important?
00:30:25What exactly is Joy? In the general sense and specifically in Christian terms?
00:42:40Why is it healthy to embrace personal and corporate sadness?
00:50:00Are we allowed to feel anger, fear, or sadness?
00:51:42Would relying only on emotions lead us astray?
00:55:58How might reason and emotions work together in decision-making?? 
00:57:18What is Sadness’s unique contribution that Joy could not provide?
01:02:00How can Joy sustain us during the COVID-19 pandemic?
01:05:28Do children have disparate feelings?
01:08:25How might self-talk be so deceptive?
01:13:17What is the value of going through the Pit?
01:26:50Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts

Danny Fitelson is Pastor to Children and Families at First Covenant Church Oakland, and graduated from UC Santa Barbara and Fuller Seminary. He and Bethany have two young children.

S2E05 Mandalorian

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Baby Yoda is the best!

In S2E05, the Kingsmen unpack the hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian (Season 1). How does the Mandalorian culture and creed sync with Christianity? In what ways do Kuiil the Ugnaught and Baby Yoda reflect the figure of Jesus Christ? How can we revolutionize a world marked by betrayal? Listen in on Joey and Simon’s conversation. Don’t miss it. We have spoken!


00:01:08War of Mandalore and Peace of Christianity
00:13:50Kuiil: A Kenotic Christ Figure
00:17:12IG-11: Resurrection and Transformation
00:24:28Baby Yoda: Another Christ Figure
00:27:12Understanding the Mudhorn Pit
00:33:43The Powerful God Incarnated in Weak Flesh
00:41:12Trust Overcomes Betrayal
01:03:15Let Go of Prejudices and Learn to Trust
01:07:18The Vacuum of Fallen Empire

S2E04 Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

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In S2E04, The Kingsmen pay homage to the finale of the 49-year Star Wars saga, with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

Joey and Simon reflect on how culture re-imagines mythology, how identity is formed, and the way to defeat evil without becoming evil yourself, and how God subtly works throughout the universe to rescue every creature.

The Force is strong with this one!


00:00:42Kylo Ren’s Mask and the Art of Kintsugi
00:05:05Re-Telling & Re-Imagining of the Skywalker Myth
00:07:33Redeeming Skywalkers
00:16:28Our Opinion of Others Influences their Identity
00:25:56Resolving Identity Crisis and Overcoming Loneliness
00:44:35Overcoming Cosmic, Ultimate Evil
00:57:04Climbing out of the Pit
01:02:37The False Security of Invulnerability and Power
01:09:36Confronting Evil in Trinitarian Partnership
01:19:02Acceptance and Transformation
01:25:46The Universal Activity of the Holy Spirit

S1E09 Avengers: Endgame (Part 1)

The Kingsmen assemble! We discuss the cultural phenomenon that is Avengers: Endgame (2019).

With talking points that range from Christlike sacrifice to the astronomical significance of one rat dance, we reflect on ways that the film illuminates Christian truths.

In many ways, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the current culture and society’s mythology. And similar to how Inkling authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien approached mythologies, the Kingsmen approach this the Marvel mythology with the question, “What in this story is true?”

Click the image to listen to the podcast episode.
Click the image to listen to the podcast episode.


00:00:00 – Introduction
00:03:03 – Heroes Sacrifice like Christ
00:07:43 – Avengers Themes: “We don’t trade lives” vs. “Whatever it takes”
00:12:22 – Selflessness as Taking Responsibility
00:15:35 – Fat Thor is a Nobler Hero
00:17:41 – Thor Giving up the Messiah Complex
00:20:52 – Avengers Teamwork Reflects God Invitation to Rescue
00:22:01 – Thor Giving Up the Throne
00:24:04 – One-Punch Man and Teamwork
00:26:11 – Every Field of the Battle is Important
00:29:15 – Partnering with God in Creation and Restoration
00:33:07 – Destinations and Trajectories for Iron-Man and Captain America
00:44:57 – Stark as Pre-Resurrection Era and Rogers as Post-Resurrection Era
00:52:29 – Forgiveness as Flexibility to Not Avenge
00:56:07 – Gamora and Nebula’s Sibling Rivalry/Love
01:04:27 – The Call from God for the Participation of Women in His plan
01:06:07 – The Snap Back and Holding onto the Painful Memory
01:15:37 – God Who Expresses Emotions
01:20:04 – The Way Arguments Cloud Judgment (Stark vs Rogers)
01:26:25 – The Depth of the Resurrection Event
01:28:10 – The Prerequisite to Forgiving an Offender
01:32:53 – The Astronomical Coincidence of Perfect Rat-Dancing
01:35:00 – Conclusion

S1E08 Villainy & Devilry

The Kingsmen explore the idea of villains.

What makes a bad guy “bad”?

By discussing some iconic villains like Darth Vader, the Joker, Thanos and Cersei, we sketch the outlines of what makes a person a villain versus a hero.

Like always, we draw parallels between pop culture and the Christian perspective. In this episode, we discuss how villains share some sort of character trait with the Devil/Satan, namely, the elevation of oneself at the cost of others.

Click the picture below to listen!


  1. 00:00 – 02:52 Introduction
  2. 02:52 – 10:50 What is a Villain?
  3. 10:51 – 20:02 Case Studies of Villainous Intent
    1. 12:20 – 17: 09 Joker Portrayed by the late Heath Ledger
    2. 17:10 – 18:37 Darth Vader
    3. 18:38 – 19:22 Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War  
  4. 20:03 – 25:12 How Does A Sovereign and Good God Respond to Pain and Suffering caused by Villainous Intent?
  5. 25:13 – 29:55 Inhumane Practices Dehumanizing Humans
  6. 29:56 – 39:35 Idolatry as a Source of Villainy
  7. 39:36 – 50:29 The Thin Line of Culpability and Breaking the Cycle of Violence
  8. 50:30 – 54:16 Naruto and the Christian Virtue of Taking the Penalty for a Criminal
  9. 54:17 – 01:12:42 Does Current Society Sympathize with Villains, and Why?
  10. 01:12:43 – 01:15:32 The Line Between Hero and Villain
  11. 01:15:33 – 01:23:06 The Biblical Narrative’s Baddest Villain, Satan
  12. 01:23:07 – 01:29:39 Satan’s Flawed Authority vs. God’s True Authority
  13. 01:29:40 – 01:42:13 What is the Proper Response to Villains?
  14. 01:42:14 – 01:43:58 Conclusion

S1E07 Aquaman

The Kingsmen return to the DCEU with a discussion on 2018’s Aquaman. In this seventh episode, we ask:

  • How might Aquaman illustrate profound Christian concepts like the Incarnation, kingship, and the divine trajectory of peace and unity?
  • How does peace overcome violence and tyranny?
  • And, most importantly what attributes characterize a true hero?

Apparently, Aquaman does more than just talking to fish!

Click the picture below to listen!

Aquaman Cover - Kingsmen Podcast


  1. [00:00 – 04: 17] Introduction & Personal Review of Aquaman Film
  2. [04:18 – 17:44] Hollywood and Christian Themes
  3. [17:45 – 23:07] Aquaman: Both from the Land and from the Sea
  4. [23:07 – 32:41] Oceanmaster, Tribalism, and the Necessity of a
  5. [32:42 – 44:49] Hesitation and Acceptance of Responsibility
  6. [44:50 – 50:25] Christus Victor & Faithfulness of Aquaman
  7. [50:26 – 53:09] Oceanmaster’s Markings of Tyranny
  8. [53: 10 – 61: 16] Aquaman: Authority, Armor, and Talking to
  9. [61 :17 – 63:02] The Armor of God
  10. [63:03 – 64:62] Jesus: The Sacrificial King
  11. [64:63 – 69:39] Mercy: The Qualifier of the True King
  12. [69:40 – 77:07] Trappings of Bitterness and the Relief Thereof
  13. [77:08 – 82:32] Violence and Deception: Marks of Injustice
  14. [82:33 – 89:48] Cain and Abel: Overcoming Sin
  15. [89:49 – 96:01] Concluding Remarks: Responsibility of