S4E02 Andor

The Kingsmen enter into the morally gray world of Star Wars: Andor. Though it occurs in a galaxy far, far away, it is strikingly similar to our own world here. Join us as we draw out some Christian and religious insights on oppression, evil, hope, humanity, ritual, sacrifice, and love.

Click here to listen.


00:00:28Andor is a Stupid Show, Right?
00:01:12Who Cares about a Nobody?
00:01:44The Rebellion from the Ground
00:02:42Identifying with the Oppressed
00:03:45Everyday Evil
00:08:50Evil as a Manifestation of Empire
00:10:51Imperial Tolerance of Cultural Heritage
00:14:31Exterminating Germs, Not Human Beings
00:16:40Giving Up Freedoms for Security
00:18:52Comfort Stations
00:21:19Jesus’ Temptation to Feed Himself
00:22:17Something Worth Living and Dying For
00:25:23Different Soils, Different Fruits
00:27:09Keeping Hope Alive
00:28:50True Vision is Love
00:30:35Conforming to the Empire’s Image
00:32:43On Becoming Less or More Human
00:34:05Evil Breaks Down, Love Builds Up
00:35:40True Christianity is Not Abusive
00:36:31The Power of Rituals
00:38:08Andor as a Chiasm
00:42:04Rituals Inform Identity
00:45:59Models of Sacrifice
00:47:50Rituals of Selfishness and Selflessness
00:51:35Maarva’s Foundation of Love
00:52:59Luthen’s Foundation of Anger
00:54:43A Morally Gray Star Wars
00:55:01Sacrificing Out of Love vs Hate
00:57:02Maarva and Luthen Share Ends, But Not Means
00:58:31Can Evil Be Used to Defeat Evil?
01:00:22The Nonviolence of Jiu-Jitsu
01:02:16Whose Method is Superior, Maarva’s or Luthen’s?

S4E01 Encanto

The Kingsmen dive into the magical miracle of Encanto (2021).

Feel like you’re the only one with no gifts or talents? Feel like you can’t live up to everyone’s expectations? Ostracized for being yourself? Well, then, cry it out us!

In this episode, Simon and Joey share how this beautiful movie conveys the best parts of the Christian gospel to broken hearts today.

Click here to listen.


  • [00:00:02] Introduction
  • [00:06:17] Luke’s Christmas Story as a Musical
  • [00:07:43] Jesus in Gethsemane Viewed as a Musical
  • [00:09:31] Mirabel and Miracle
  • [00:10:26] Movies are Parables
  • [00:10:55] Did Mirabel have Miracle?
  • [00:12:28] Charismatic Gifts
  • [00:15:03] Gifts and Worth
  • [00:17:02] Burnout from Earning Worth
  • [00:21:09] Longing to Belong
  • [00:28:21] Misunderstanding the Gift of Prophecy
  • [00:32:12] Prophecies are Meant to Change your Fate
  • [00:37:00] Denial of Brokenness
  • [00:40:09] Leading from Trauma
  • [00:44:18] The Miracle Candle and the Sacrifice of Abuelo
  • [00:49:21] Gentleness and Strength
  • [00:51:34] Mirabel and her Gift of Empathy
  • [00:56:38] Embracing the Enemy
  • [00:59:35] God’s Household is Open to All
  • [01:00:33] Conclusion

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
Click to Listen

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

Click to Listen

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

Click to listen

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

S2E02 Spider-Man: Far From Home

In the consequential aftermath of Thanos destructive snap and ultimate defeat, Spiderman: Far From Home grapples with themes like grief, self-worth, following in the footsteps of heroic predecessors, the passing of the mantle, exercising discernment of character. As always, the Kingsmen analyze these themes through Christian biblical and theological perspectives.

Listen to S2E02 Spider-Man: Far From Home Podcast

If you enjoyed the episode, please give us a like and subscribe to get updates on upcoming podcasts.


  1. [00:00:00] Introduction
  2. [00:00:40] The Relationship Between Iron and Spider
    1. [00:05:52] A Connection to Elijah and Elisha
    2. [00:10:50] The Trinity God Relentlessly Pursues Community
  3. [00:14:13] What Makes Spiderman Worthy?
    1. [00:19:15] Understanding Worthiness from Acts
    2. [00:26:05] Spiderman: The Best of Two Avengers
    3. [00:33:46] Secure and True to Self
  4. [00:35:55] Mysterio and False Prophets
    1. [00:39:28] What Creates a Mysterio?
    2. [00:43:44] The Reason for Forgiveness
    3. [00:49:11] The Kingsmen Hero/Villain Litmus Test
    4. [00:51:28] The Similarities of Mysterio and Satan
  5. [00:55:48] Peter Tingle and the Christian’s Spiritual Discernment
    1. [01:01:02] Prayer: Spiritual Breathing
    2. [01:05:51] Looking Beyond the Natural
  6. [01:08:42] The Reason for the Kingsmen
  7. [01:12:27] Conclusion

S2E01 God as Parent

Click on banner to listen on anchor.fm

Among all the analogies that Christians use to describe God, none has been more central than the concept of God as Parent. In the second season opener, the Kingsmen reflect on both the paternal and maternal qualities of God. As usual, the Kingsmen suggest several movie references that showcase this concept of God as Parent.

If you enjoyed the episode, please give us a like and subscribe to get updates on upcoming podcasts.

Timestamp of Contents

  1. 00:00:00 Introduction
  2. 00:02:44 God as Father
    1. 00:04:22 The Limitation of Analogies when Describing God
    2. 00:11:01 Commentary on the Prodigal Son Story
    3. 00:15:46 Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
    4. 00:21:39 Understanding Yahweh 
  3. 00:22:38 God as Mother
    1. 00:23:57 Understanding El Shaddai
    2. 00:27:13 Motherly References of God in Scripture
    3. 00:29:58 Breaking In, Peppermint, and Maternal Ferocity
    4. 00:32:15 Aunt May and God’s Unavoidable Care and Compassion
  4. 00:36:29 Knowing God as Parent is a Calling
    1. 00:39:12 Motherhood and Justice
  5. 00:44:42 Knowing God as Parent is a Guide
    1. 00:48:38 Mufasa: A Close Analogy
    2. 00:53:02 T’Chaka: Dealing with the Flaws of an Admired Parent
  6. 00:55:53 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