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.
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?
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.
[00:00:58] Ph.D. Announcement
[00:03:07] FWS vs. Wandavision
[00:05:19] Theme of Power and Privilege
[00:11:15] John Walker’s Blindness
[00:12:54] American Lives vs. Enemy Lives
[00:13:43] The “Correct” Society
[00:14:23] Internal vs. External Power
[00:14:47] God Looks at the Heart
[00:15:31] The Convergence of Authoritarianism
[00:16:23] Zemo’s Misguided Ideology
[00:17:18] ‘Us vs. Them’ Mentality
[00:18:14] Irony of the Flag Smasher’s Unity
[00:19:36] Sam is a Peacemaker
[00:21:27] Sam Wilson as a Tragic Hero
[00:22:59] The Wilson Boat Symbolizes America
[00:24:24] Steve Rogers as a Tragic Hero
[00:25:22] The Symbolism of the Shield
[00:25:47] Historical and Mythological Attachments
[00:26:55] Negative and Positive POVs of the Symbol
[00:27:32] Which Perspective is Correct?
[00:27:56] A Symbol’s Centripetal and Centrifugal Movement
[00:29:42] Sam Must Grapple with All the the Shield Represents
[00:30:00] Sam Fills the Shield with Fresh New Meaning
[00:31:49] The Shield and Its Bearer as Incarnation
[00:33:32] Aiming for Perfect Virtue
[00:35:23] Being Your Authentic Self
[00:37:00] The Chiastic Structure of Walker-Rogers-Wilson
[00:37:36] Sam’s Personal Friendship with Steve
[00:38:18] Various Responses to the Ideal/Shield
[00:39:04] Sam’s Worthiness
[00:39:54] The Belief that We Can Do Better
[00:40:12] Sam’s Negotiation with Carrying the Burden of the Shield
[00:41:25] Wrestling with the True Object Behind the Tradition
[00:42:32] Walker Did Not Have to Earn the Shield
[00:43:16] The Stark Contrast Between Rogers and Walker
[00:45:44] John Walker, Resentment, Idolatry
[00:48:33] The Hidden Value of Experiencing Failure
[00:52:18] Following Orders vs. Doing What’s Right
[00:56:29] the Law and the law
[01:00:21] Characters Represent Political POVs
[01:03:22] The Armor and Shield from Wakanda
[01:06:45] Sam’s Suit as Wakanda’s Forgiveness
[01:07:18] Sam’s Vulnerability Enables Him to Do Good in the World
[01:08:18] What Has Been Given Can Be Taken Back
[01:09:16] Irony: A Black Woman Declares Freedom For a White Man
[01:11:46] Art Creates Space to Imagine Potential
[01:14:07] Ayo Exemplifies Forgiveness and Free Bucky from His Own Prison
[01:15:28] Stories Challenge Us to Embody an Ideal
[01:15:48] Imagine Sharing a World with People One Dislikes
[01:16:53] Justice Requires Imagination to Envision a Good World that Does Not Exist Yet
[01:17:55] The Struggle of Democracy as a Social Practice
[01:19:19] Sharon Carter, A Good Person Who Lost Hope
[01:20:31] For Some, Their Mere Existence is a Crime
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.
What makes Inside Out such a good movie?
What happens to memories? Are they truly forgotten?
How does Bing Bong reflect Christ?
What is imagination, why is it so important for life, and how does it complement with Joy?
What is the significance of Joy as our first emotion?
What makes Joy unique in respect to the other emotions?
Why are the range of emotions equally important?
What exactly is Joy? In the general sense and specifically in Christian terms?
Why is it healthy to embrace personal and corporate sadness?
Are we allowed to feel anger, fear, or sadness?
Would relying only on emotions lead us astray?
How might reason and emotions work together in decision-making??
What is Sadness’s unique contribution that Joy could not provide?
How can Joy sustain us during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Do children have disparate feelings?
How might self-talk be so deceptive?
What is the value of going through the Pit?
Closing 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.
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!
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!
Kylo Ren’s Mask and the Art of Kintsugi
Re-Telling & Re-Imagining of the Skywalker Myth
Our Opinion of Others Influences their Identity
Resolving Identity Crisis and Overcoming Loneliness
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.
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.
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Timestamp of Contents
00:02:44 God as Father
00:04:22 The Limitation of Analogies when Describing God
00:11:01 Commentary on the Prodigal Son Story
00:15:46 Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
00:21:39 Understanding Yahweh
00:22:38 God as Mother
00:23:57 Understanding El Shaddai
00:27:13 Motherly References of God in Scripture
00:29:58 Breaking In, Peppermint, and Maternal Ferocity
00:32:15 Aunt May and God’s Unavoidable Care and Compassion
00:36:29 Knowing God as Parent is a Calling
00:39:12 Motherhood and Justice
00:44:42 Knowing God as Parent is a Guide
00:48:38 Mufasa: A Close Analogy
00:53:02 T’Chaka: Dealing with the Flaws of an Admired Parent
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!
00:00 – 02:52 Introduction
02:52 – 10:50 What is a Villain?
10:51 – 20:02 Case Studies of Villainous Intent
12:20 – 17: 09 Joker Portrayed by the late Heath Ledger
17:10 – 18:37 Darth Vader
18:38 – 19:22 Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War
20:03 – 25:12 How Does A Sovereign and Good God Respond to Pain and Suffering caused by Villainous Intent?